The Los Angeles Lakers brought veteran point guard Marcelo Huertas to Los Angeles last summer with the hope that he could help mentor young guards D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson in the delicate art of the pick and roll. Huertas was also tasked with running the second unit and setting up scorers like Lou Williams and Nick Young.
During the preseason, Huertas thrived, with his passing flair and court vision producing an exciting brand of basketball. However, as opposing teams adjusted and took away passing lanes, Huertas became ineffective and was relegated to then-coach Byron Scott’s bench.
Fortunately, a late season surge somewhat salvaged Huertas’ year, and many Lakers fans are now open to the idea of bringing the crafty Brazilian back for an encore performance next season. Per a post to his Instagram account, Huertas also wouldn’t mind spending another year in purple and gold:
All I can say is thanks to all the fans for the amazing support and that it would be awesome to stay in L.A. longer!
While Huertas is going to be a free agent this summer, it would appear that a return to the Lakers isn’t out of the question. Lakers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Jim Buss mentioned that he liked Huertas in a recent interview, which certainly doesn’t hurt his chances of sticking around. The Lakers will have the second pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but the top two players, Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons, are both forwards. It’s likely that the team will head into free agency in need of a backup point guard.
It remains to be seen whether new Lakers coach Luke Walton would be tolerant of Huertas’ lack of three-point shooting, but the Warriors system that Walton intends to use does require willing passers to be successful.
The Lakers will certainly chase bigger fish when free agency opens in July, but it’s possible that Marcelo Huertas is eventually given a deal to keep him in Los Angeles.
NBA free agency opens at 12:01 A.M. on July 1st.