Which LA Lakers Player Has the Most Upside Right Now?

A lot of people may have forgotten about this guy because he just returned from a 28-game absence, but Xavier Henry is the player with the most upside on the Los Angeles Lakers.


Well considering the makeup of the roster, it's pretty slim pickings.

As has been well documented, the Lakers are a top-heavy team. Their top three earners—Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash—make a combined $59.039 million this season.

The NBA's salary cap for 2013-14 is $58.679 million.

Those three veterans have almost a half century's worth of NBA service time among them, so obviously there's no upside there, meaning you have to dig around the bottom of the barrel to find someone whose future could be bright.

Youth is a prerequisite for potential.

Enter Henry, who, despite being a pro for four years already, is still shy of his 23rd birthday. He's the third-youngest member of the Lakers, just three weeks older than rookie Ryan Kelly. Since he's still at a tender age, Henry's game has plenty of room to grow before he hits his prime. 

Next comes his pedigree.

Henry was a big-time recruit coming out of high school, which is how he ended up at a big-time college program like the University of Kansas.

According to Basketball-Reference's Recruiting Services Consensus Index, Henry was the sixth-ranked recruit from the high school class of 2009.

That placed him just ahead of Lance Stephenson, and behind only Derrick Favors, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, John Henson and Avery Bradley. Not bad company at all.

After an okay year at Kansas, Henry became a lottery pick in the 2010 draft, taken after Favors, Wall and Cousins but ahead of Bradley and Stephenson. If you're looking for some untapped upside, you want to target a player who was once looked at as a top-tier recruit comparable with All-Star-caliber talent...

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