In a season full of injuries and countless losses, the Los Angeles Lakers have had few moments to be optimistic about. One of the positive aspects of the frustrating season has been small forward Xavier Henry and his development into a contributing role player off the bench.
Henry, the 12th overall pick in the 2010 draft, signed a one-year deal with the Lakers in September as the team was looking to fill out the roster. Henry immediately made an impact, scoring 22 points in the Lakers season-opening win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Unfortunately for Henry, like several other Lakers, the fourth-year forward’s season has also been riddled by injury.
Despite missing significant action, Shams Charania of RealGM reports Henry would like to return to the Lakers next season:
If the Lakers want me back, I would love to be back,” Henry told RealGM. “I love it here, love playing on this team, and we have a great organization. It’s been eye-opening for me, and I enjoy it. You always have two sides of things – I can’t always control whatever I want to in free agency.
Henry’s openness to re-signing with the Lakers next season is stark difference than Jordan Hill’s recent comments that he wouldn’t be interested in returning next season if his role were to remain the same. With Kobe Bryant, Robert Sacre and Steve Nash the only players under contract for next season, Hill and Henry are two of many other Lakers who are essentially auditioning for a new contract next season; either with the Lakers or sign elsewhere.
Aside from missing games due to knee and wrist injuries, Henry has otherwise been one of the Lakers most consistent bench players. Often times charged with finding a balance between playing floor general and scorer, Henry has shown the ability to put the ball in the basket, averaging a career-high 10.0 points per game. The Lakers will have ample cap space this summer of which Henry may benefit from.
Xavier Henry: ‘Not Going To Quit,’ Loves The System And Team