Will Mike D’Antoni Help Talented MarShon Brooks Realize Potential with Lakers?

Wednesday night was all about the future for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Staples Center faithful bid a not-so-fond farewell to despised former center Dwight Howard as he returned for his first appearance as a member of the Houston Rockets. More importantly, Lakers management traded veteran point guard Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, per Yahoo! Sports and the Los Angeles Times, via Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated. 

This was a classic deal between a contender and a non-contender. Golden State needed a capable backup for Stephen Curry, and the Lakers needed a shot of youth and potential. 

The key to the deal for Los Angeles will likely be Brooks, the third-year guard who was once considered a real up-and-comer. Once again, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni will have a chance to revive the career of a talented young player, just as he has done this season with Jordan Hill, Wesley Johnson and Kendall Marshall.

In fact, the Brooks/D'Antoni connection made so much sense that Basketball Insiders' Lang Greene predicted it one month before it actually happened.

Basketball writers were immediately excited about the idea, including USA Today's Sean Highkin, SB Nation's Ian Dougherty and Bleacher Report's Ethan Norof:

Of course, this excitement is based a two big assumptions:

That Brooks was ever that good to begin with. That players actually develop under D'Antoni, and not simply put up hollow numbers in his run-and-gun system. And both of those assumptions are debatable to various degrees. The most important question that must be asked is: What would it mean for Brooks to realize his potential?


The Book on Brooks

For a player compared to Kobe Bryant, Brooks wasn't selected terribly high in the 2011 NBA draft. The Boston Celtics chose him No. 25 overall and shipped...

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