Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times blog reports:

Derrick Caracter

He averaged only two points on 48.5% shooting in 5.2 minutes a game his rookie season, and admitted lacking the necessary conditioning and preparation to excel in the NBA. Yet, Lakers backup center Derrick Caracter remains optimistic the Lakers will exercise their $788,872 option to keep him next season.

“I’m pretty confident that they’ll pick it up based on our conversations [in my exit interview],” Caracter said in a phone interview. “If they don’t, I’m still Derrick Caracter and the basketball player I’m trying to be. My goal in trying to get better doesn’t change.”

That’s why Dan Barto, the IMG Basketball Academy’s pro/college training coordinator who has worked with Caracter for the last three summers, views his stint with the Impact Basketball Academy league in Las Vegas as particularly important in showing he can defend, rebound consistently and finish in the post.