Lakers News: Xavier Henry Injury Puts LA in Better Position for 2014 NBA Draft

At first, the injuries sustained by the Los Angeles Lakers were crippling. But now, they are actually putting the team in a very good position to improve heading into next season.

I'm not a supporter of mailing it in. The point of basketball—the point of any sport, really—is to compete every single time you face competition. Therefore, tanking for a high draft pick is not something I condone.

Receiving a high draft pick simply because of a lack of healthy talent is an entirely different story, however. With the latest injury to Xavier Henry, that's the exact situation in which the Lakers currently find themselves.

Henry sustained a torn ligament in his shooting wrist on Friday night, and Mike Trudell of tweeted that he'll see a hand specialist on Monday:

The guard gave Mark Medina of Inside SoCal the impression that he'd try playing through it: "It’s pretty sore and tender, but what can I do. I just have to battle through this as well."

Alas, Henry won't be playing. It's honestly best for the team at this point.

Given the fact that the Lakes are currently 23-46, there really isn't much for them to play for. Henry's 10.1 points per game aren't going to push them into the playoffs. Heck, not even 25 points per game from a healthy Kobe Bryant would get them into the playoffs at this point.

Without Henry, this is what the Lakers' starting five will likely look like from here on out:

That's not a team that's going to compete with a ton of consistency. That's a team that is poised to receive a lottery pick—and a high one, at that.

For argument's sake, let's say the Lakers end up with the No. 5 pick in the 2014 NBA draft. With that pick, the team will have a bevy of options. Selecting a point guard is best for the future of the franchise, though, so expect them to look toward Dante Exum from Australia or Ma...

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