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Lakers make it official, sign Xavier Henry. Create camp competition.

Sep 5, 2013, 4:43 PM EDT

New Orleans Hornets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

I love HBO’s “Hard Knocks” — the show that tracks an NFL team through training camp, this season the Cincinnati Bengals. There is great drama because there are few guaranteed contracts in the NFL and there are 75 guys fighting for 53 spots.

It would almost never work in the NBA because there just isn’t much camp drama — NBA contracts are guaranteed and you go into training camp pretty much knowing at least 14 of the 15 roster spots.

But the Lakers could be an exception this year — they are bringing in a few forwards for a little training camp competition to see who fits in Mike D’Antoni’s system best.

Thursday the Lakers announced a deal with Xavier Henry to what is a camp invite deal with a chance to make the team. Henry is a three year NBA player, a 6’6” swingman who was with the Hornets last season. He’s athletic but in the NBA he has struggled to create his own shot and tends to take long two pointers rather than threes (he averaged just 0.2 threes per game last season). His defense is uninspiring. There’s potential there but it has never really shown itself before, however he might be a good fit in the up-tempo D’Antoni system.

The Lakers just signed Shawne Williams and they have Elias Harris, Ryan Kelly and Marcus Landry all will kind of compete for forward spots in camp. For an NBA roster, this is a pretty wide open completion, which will make their camp a little more interesting.

  1. adamsjohn714 - Sep 5, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    By, “fits [D’antoni’s] system best,” they mean, “never plays a single meaningful minute.”

    • stephenlin - Sep 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      d’antoni has said that he intends to expand the rotation this year to eleven players or so ( but with the amount of wing/forwards that we have–nick young, wesley johnson, marcus landry, elias harris, xavier henry, shawne williams, ryan kelly–probably only two or three of them will see playing time.

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 5, 2013 at 5:44 PM

      oh dear. This Laker’s season is going to be really bad. Finding quality minutes from that group of players, who collectively sound like they’ll get a lot of minutes, is going to be tough.

  2. jmart7skol - Sep 5, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Dear Kurt,

    You’re an awful writer.

  3. remyje - Sep 5, 2013 at 5:32 PM


    • abchome - Sep 5, 2013 at 5:42 PM


  4. boltsup - Sep 5, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    This move sucks… If Beasley can at least have a medical recommendation for his weed use , and odom can put down the pipe then we might as well sign them too

  5. 00maltliquor - Sep 5, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    You know what, if all those guys named in the article are going to compete for spots and all have non-guarenteed contracts and can be cut without consequence, then I’m okay with this signing. But I gotta be honest, that list of scrubs is very uninspiring. Hopefully at least 2 of those guys gets cut. There’s just too much fat that needs to be trimmed from the roster.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 6, 2013 at 12:24 AM

      Henry has some potential if he can ever find it. He is a former top college recruit and lottery pick. He can hit open threes and could possibly work in the uptempo offense with his athleticism.

      He’s struggled in the NBA up to this point though, and will need to play smarter (shot selection) and harder (find some of that Kobe work ethic and learn to create for himself and others).

      I don’t know if he makes the team, but it’s a low-risk signing that could pay off with a decent enough bench player if he finds his potential.

      • adamsjohn714 - Sep 6, 2013 at 1:01 AM

        so…. learn to play basketball. He’s certainly low risk and young, though, so it’s really no harm done.

  6. dalucks - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    As a Laker fans since 1980, this year will be like the 1993 and 2005 season. Playoffs and winning a championship is not possible.
    I will be the villian today for speaking the truth but time will tell.

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