March 19, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Xavier Henry (7) moves to the basket against San Antonio Spurs forward Aron Baynes (16) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Why The Lakers Should Re-Sign Xavier Henry

The Lakers have one major problem with tanking and its because almost everyone on the team is signed to a one-year deal. The only Lakers under guaranteed contracts for next season are Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Robert Sacre. Everyone else on the team is fighting for a new contract with an NBA team – the Lakers or otherwise. While the front office has certainly been evaluating all of the talent, one player still isn’t exactly a “known” quantity. That player is Xavier Henry.

The Lakers know what they have in Nick Young. They signed him to be a gunner off the bench and he has shown that he is exceptional at that role. The Lakers knew what they were getting when the signed Jordan Farmar, a young point guard with championship experience. When the Lakers signed Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry, they were rolling the dice with two former lottery picks who they thought could use a change of scenery. Johnson has shown to be an adequate wing player, playing decent to good defense and shooting the three at a slightly above league average mark. Xavier hasn’t gotten to show what he can truly be.

Henry has only played in 41 games due to a bone bruise in his knee which lingered. In those games, Xavier has shown flashes of brilliance and dashes of disastrous recklessness. Last night against the Knicks, Xavier showed why he was a lottery pick at one time. He shot 8-11 from the field and ended with 22 points in 23 minutes. Oh yeah, he did all of that with a torn ligament in his wrist as well. But there are also a few too many 1-7, 2-8, and 2-9 performances in his game log this season. Some of this inconsistency comes from not getting regular playing time. Xavier has played 14 minutes during certain games and 36 minutes another night.

Keep in mind, this all comes from a player on a new team, who just turned 23 years old. Xavier gives the Lakers something that they have lacked in recent history – a quick, slashing wing who can create their own shot. Not only this, but Xavier is proving how mentally and physically tough he is by finishing out the year with a torn ligament in his wrist. That is the type of mentality the Lakers need more of – the Kobe mentality.

Most Lakers fans would like to see Nick Young re-signed, but the real issue will be if they can afford to keep him. Young has played very well this season, hasn’t been a headache or distraction to the team, and has submitted one of the best seasons of his career. As a 28 year old who just played out this season on a veteran’s minimum contract, he will certainly be looking for a payday. With the Lakers wanting to retain flexibility for free agency in the summer of 2015, it is unlikely they’ll lock up Young to a larger money deal he may be looking for.

So the Lakers next best option is Xavier Henry. He will certainly be a cheaper option to retain but provides the Lakers with something they don’t already have. Young has taken a lot of shots this season, but most of those will be gobbled up by Kobe next season. Henry’s ability, toughness, and potential cost efficiency make him the perfect choice to be re-signed for next season and possibly beyond.

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers Xavier Henry

  • hookedonnews

    Like Henry, Young, and Johnson. Would like to see all of them back, as well as Farmar, Meeks, and Ryan Kelly. Of course, money talks so who knows? Hopefully these guys will want to stay.

    • Chrmngblly

      Yes. It is always a pleasure to read your work when you make sense and are not on poop-patrol for MDA and JB. Other than Kelly, I think we need to look for a way to upgrade or overhaul our 4/5 crew. I would like to see all these guys come back on one year deals except for Young who we may need to sign for more and longer. Mostly, though, we can’t guarantee any of these contracts at full price anymore. I need to see more of Marshawn Brooks. He seems buried on the bench.

      • hookedonnews

        I think Brooks has a problem playing within the system. He’s got talent, but he’s got to learn to be a little more disciplined. Bazemore has learned to fit in better, and he’s a better defender. I’d like to see more of Brooks too though. Maybe they’ve already decided they don’t want to keep him.

        • Chrmngblly

          Something, that’s for sure. He always seems to play OK when I have seen him. I still think he needs more exposure though, even though almost everyone on the team seems like a 2-guard. I want to know how Kobe heals up before we let all these guys go, too.

          • hookedonnews

            There’s something going on there. He’s been on 3 different teams this season.

            I don’t think we can make any assumptions about Kobe. This knee thing is taking a lot longer to heal that I would have thought. We know the will is still there, but the body has to cooperate.

            It will be interesting to see who stays and who goes and who they might pick up if a few of these guys sign elsewhere.

          • Chrmngblly

            I don’t want all these guys getting bids. I want them all back on one year contracts. so we can get a guard and a center out of the draft and FA signings. The savings on Pau will let us do that. I hope Nash retires. I like Lowrey.

          • hookedonnews

            I would like to see that happen, too, but it depends on what kind of offers they get elsewhere. Henry & Meeks have said they want to stay, but money talks. I think the chances are slim and none that Nash will retire. I’ve heard they want Gasol back on maybe a one year deal, but money will be a factor there, too. I hope we get a couple of good players in the draft, but that is always a crap-shoot. I think they’re looking more to free agency to get the players they think will help them get back to the top.

            Before this season I thought Lowry was over-rated. He had been injury prone and just didn’t look that good to me. He’s been much better this season.. Maybe that’s because he’s been healthy. I don’t think Lowry is part of their plans.

  • J Taylor

    As long as he’s willing to take the veteran’s minimum.
    Otherwise, he stands very likely to be another D’antoni retread that looked good playing in his system.
    - Just because he looked good in the system that forces players to shoot and try to score, doesn’t mean that he’s overcome the same issues that nearly pushed him out of the league as a bench player or #5 option.

    BUT, if he’s willing to stick around and play for cheap, he’s worth the risk.