Xavier Henry came to the Los Angeles Lakers hoping to just make the roster. Instead, he found himself having one of the biggest games of his career on opening night, solidifying his status as a contributing member of the team.
Like many of his teammates, injuries cut his season short, as he was only able to play in 43 games. But Henry is starting to realize his potential, and should be brought back for another season.
Henry was drafted early in the first round, but struggled in his first three years in the NBA. He saw limited playing time and looked as if he wouldn’t be playing in the league for much longer.
Since joining the Lakers, he has displayed the skills many individuals were excited about early in his career. He is extremely effective at attacking the basket, and is not afraid to finish above the rim. Henry is very hard to stop going to his left hand, and can beat players off the dribble. His outside shot continues to improve, as does his ball-handling.
Defensively, Henry can guard three different positions, and uses his strength to his advantage. He has the athleticism to get better at on the ball defending, but no doubt will improve with more experience.
Henry can be a very good role-player for the Lakers next season. The Lakers need his athleticism and versatility coming off the bench. He can make highlight-reel plays to provide the spark needed on what may be an older team. The biggest knock on Henry at this point is his inability to stay healthy, but he is worth the risk considering he will not be a very expensive contract. The Lakers should do what they can to bring back Henry for another season.