Chris Duhon and Steve Blake have a lot in common.
Both won national championships while attending ACC schools. Both were eerily picked 38th overall in the second round of the NBA Draft in their respective years. Both signed four-year contracts worth nearly $4-million a year and both have failed by all accounts to live up to said deals.
Something else these two have very much in common is their current employer. Duhon became a bargaining chip in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes and thus landed in Los Angeles where he’s now been given a Purple and Golden opportunity to contribute on a title contender.
Blake’s barefoot blunder will give Duhon an early lead in the competition for minutes behind Steve Nash. There will be at least a three week window (if not more) for Duhon to show that he’s more than just a throw-in.
Then again, being a throw-in worked out pretty well for former Laker Shannon Brown who became a fan favorite and valued contributor off the bench during two title runs.
For Duhon and Blake this season could be the best shot either will get as a rotational player for a championship team. Neither of them is likely ever going to log starter’s minutes again and neither is likely to earn a deal even close to the one both currently possess.
That means this is pretty much the last chance saloon for a couple of veteran point guards.
That being the case it stands to reason the Duhon has the inside track on the backup job behind Nash provided he doesn’t…well…Blake it up.
I am a Blake fan but even I have nothing too positive to say about how he’s performed as a Laker. This injury might just be the Blake’s finale in Los Angeles. Then again, for all we know Duhon could end up making us miss Blake altogether or Mike Brown could just do as he does and interchange the two players day-in and day-out.
Yet another possibility is that Blake’s injury could also pave the way for Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock or even rookie Darius Johnson-Odom to get a little extra burn and impress the staff.
But that all remains to be seen. Camp opens next week and the Lakers begin preseason play shortly after.