Healthy Xavier Henry Could Be Los Angeles Lakers’ X-Factor

Xavier Henry has yet to play more than 50 games in a season during his four-year NBA career. Yet, the Los Angeles Lakers signed him to another one-year minimum-salary deal this summer.

Can he be an X-factor for them?

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is hoping the slashing swingman can solidify a role on the team after having a career year at 10 points per game off the bench during an injury-shortened season.

“Xavier earned a spot on our team last season after being a training camp invitee, and we hope he continues the dedication to improving he has displayed for us thus far," Kupchak said in late July, per “When healthy, Xavier provided our team with an offensive punch, and we expect he’ll strive to add to his skillset and become a well-rounded player.”

Henry, however, is still recovering from left wrist and right knee surgery performed in April. With a new intricate Princeton offense to learn, Lakers coach Byron Scott told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News in early September, “I haven’t seen him do much on the court. It’s going to be close on if he’s ready for camp.”

Updating the news more recently, Medina writes that Henry is "currently limited toward running on a weight-bearing treadmill."

It has become a familiar story for an athletically explosive player who has shown so much potential, but has yet to fully live up to it.

Born in Belgium, Henry is the son of Carl Henry—a shooting guard who played briefly with the Sacramento Kings in 1985 before following his hoop dreams to Puerto Rico and Europe. The family eventually returned stateside, where the younger Henry was a McDonald's All-American and a starter for the University of Kansas during his one-and-done freshman season in 2009-10.

Henry was drafted No. 12 by the Memphis Grizzlies but injured his right kne...

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