As the summer winds down and the kids and adults start to go back to school it can only mean one thing, basketball is right around the corner. With the announcement yesterday that the Lakers were in advanced discussion to bring Yi Jianlian in for the veteran’s minimum, the Lakers brought in a small group of veterans for a “veteran mini-camp”. The Lakers have 15 players, with the inclusion of Nick Young and Yi Jianlian, and will be allowed 20 when training camp begins.
Some of the names that showed up are recognizable like Jeff Ayres and P. J. Hairston. Other that are relatively unknown like Tyler Haws, Piere Jackson, and Orlando Johnson. Some were undrafted college players that played a few games in the Summer League like the 7’6 Mamadou Ndiaye.
One name that should be familiar with Laker fans is Xavier Henry. The former Laker guard and high flyer was a fan favorite of the team in the 2013-2014 Mike D’Antoni era. The former Kansas guard was a very solid piece for D’Antoni. Unfortunately he suffered multiple injuries in the 2013-14 season then suffered a catastrophic Achilles tear in the 2014-15 season. Since then he has not been back in the NBA. Here is the complete list provided by Joey Ramirez of NBA.com/Lakers
– Jeff Ayres (Los Angeles Clippers/Arizona State)
– P.J. Hairston (Memphis Grizzlies/ North Carolina)
– Tyler Haws (Obradoiro CAB/BYU)
– Xavier Henry (Santa Cruz Warriors/Kansas)
– Pierre Jackson (Idaho Stampede/Baylor)
– Julian Jacobs (USC)
– Orlando Johnson (Guangxi Weizhuang/UC Santa Barbara)
– Nikola Jovanovic (USC)
– Mamadou Ndiaye (UC Irvine)
– Johnny O’Bryant III (Milwaukee Bucks/LSU)
– Wesley Saunders (Austin Spurs/Harvard)
– Travis Wear (RETAbet.es GBC/UCLA)
– Dion Wright (St. Bonaventure)
What this means
Overall this is just a camp that the Lakers host from time to time to find roster fillers. This applies both for the regular season, at 15, and the training camp, at 20. Mitch Kupchak stated that he was going to be having another practice later in the evening. Kupchak cautioned that the team isn’t looking for a roster- shaking player or a diamond in the rough. Mostly they are looking for roster filler.
For me, it was great to see Xavier Henry back in the Laker facility. I was a big fan of his in the Mike D’Antoni system, and can see him filling the same role, to a much lesser extent. Can the Lakers find a diamond in the rough with this group? Probably not. With rosters needing to be filled and training camp right around the corner. These are standard practices for teams.
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