UPDATE 7:27 pm: What was feared has become official — Lakers forward Xavier Henry is done for the season, the team announced Monday.
Lakers guard Xavier Henry underwent an MRI exam today which revealed a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Henry suffered the injury at this morning’s practice. He is scheduled to have surgery tomorrow morning with Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. Steve Lombardo of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Henry is expected to be out the reminder of the season.
As noted by Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports, the Lakers have already been granted a $1.5 million Disabled Player Exception to bring in a new a player (it must be used by March 10). The team has reached out to the league about a second one of those, although it would be for less money and not able to land much.
Not that anyone they get at those prices will help the 3-11 team.
3:50 pm: This is bad news, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
This is just not fair to Xavier Henry, who showed glimpses of promise in Mike D’Antoni’s system but has just never been able to stay healthy. He’s had a multiple major knee surgeries in his career, and coach Byron Scott suggested that took away from his explosiveness and Henry would have to adapt his game (and Henry got a couple of D-League games in this season for the Lakers). Henry didn’t see it that way and said he planned to keep playing his attacking style.
This is a brutal setback.
The Lakers now have three players out for the season — Henry, Julius Randle and Steve Nash — plus a fourth in Ryan Kelly who could miss significant time. Reports are the Lakers have already reached out to the league to discuss a disabled player exception or other option to add another player to the roster.
Lakers guard Xavier Henry has battled various injuries in his two-year tenure with the team, and his knee troubles have head coach Byron Scott wondering if he can ever be the same player again.
From the Los Angeles Daily News’ Mark Medina:
“He’s not that explosive guy he used to be,” Scott said. “I don’t know if that will come back or not.”
“I loved his athleticism and the fact that he could attack the basket,” said Scott, who also raved about Henry’s passing and shooting. “His relentlessness to attack the basket contributed to the injuries as well.”
For his part, Henry doesn’t believe he has to change the way he plays.
“I don’t think I have to adjust my game,” said Henry, who appeared in his second D-League assignment on Saturday. “You can turn an ankle like this. For me, my strength is being able to go where I need to go using my power, speed and aggressiveness.”
Henry averaged 10 points per game last season for the Lakers. This year, he’s averaging just 2.2 points in a career-low 9.6 minutes per game. He’s missed four games and spent some time in the D-League. The Lakers are 3-10 and have limited backcourt scoring options outside of Kobe Bryant and Nick Young. A healthy Henry won’t turn the team around, but he’ll help.
The Lakers have the rights to Ater Majok, whom they drafted No. 58 in 2011.
They also have interest in Quincy Miller, whom the Nuggets waived before the season.
Maybe the Lakers are ready to act.
Shams Charania of RealGM:
Free agent forward Quincy Miller plans to visit the Lakers in Los Angeles later this week for a workout and an opportunity to sign, league sources told RealGM on Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Lakers have flown in center Ater Majok — their 58th overall draft pick in 2011 — from China for a couple days of workouts with the team, league sources told RealGM.
Majok’s workout is unrelated to free agent forward Quincy Miller
Obviously, the Lakers want to keep a close eye on Majok as long as they have his rights. So, the timing of this workout could be coincidental. But it does seem interesting they’re working him out during the season when they’re considering tinkering with their roster.
There’s little reason to sign Majok now unless he blows away the Lakers in the workout, but Miller seems to be a viable addition.
Who would the Lakers, who have a full roster of 15 players, waive to make room? Los Angeles two players with unguaranteed contracts, Ronnie Price and Wayne Ellington (who is away from the team after his father’s murder). Xavier Henry, one a one-contract, has really struggled this season. Any of those three are viable candidates.