Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

Larry Nance, Jr knee injury update

Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance, Jr., who suffered an injury to his left knee in last night’s game in Charlotte, had an MRI exam today in Miami. Results showed a bone bruise, which will keep Nance, Jr. out indefinitely, but further results were inconclusive due to swelling in the knee. He will be re-examined by team physician Dr. David McAllister of UCLA Health on Sunday in Los Angeles, and an update will be given at that time.

Luke Walton reflects on Craig Sager

Whenever Luke Walton turned on a nationally televised NBA game, the Lakers coach did not just tune in to watch a star player or scout an opponent. Walton also wanted to see sideline reporter Craig Sager.

“Part of the fun and entertainment of what we do is seeing Craig in his crazy suits. He was phenomenal at his job,” Walton said. “He brought something every night he was on TV.”

So it was no surprise when the Lakers and the NBA community were in mourning Thursday over the passing of Sager, 65, who had spent the past two years fighting cancer. All NBA teams will observe a moment of silence in Sager’s memory, including when the Lakers (10-18) play the Philadelphia 76ers (6-19) on Friday at Wells Fargo Center.

“I can’t imagine how hard that has got to be, to put on that face and come and do the job that you love knowing that you’re not at your best,” Walton said. “You’re still out there fighting that fight and not letting it beat you. He’s not just staying home all day. He’s out there still living his life as long as he can. It’s incredible. He’s a strong, strong man.”

– OC Register

Lakers on six game losing streak

Lakers on six game losing streak

If only the Lakers could address their issues as soon as Nick Young shook his rust off.

For the first time in nearly two weeks, the Lakers fielded their starting backcourt that played a large part in their offense quickly becoming one of the NBA’s most prolific. But the Lakers showed in their 118-112 loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday at Staples Center that it will take more than D’Angelo Russell building his rhythm again to stop the team’s six-game losing streak.

Russell admittedly “felt out of rhythm” as he had three points on 1-of-8 shooting and four turnovers with a minute restriction (18) that included sitting out in the fourth quarter. Russell could shake off that rust when the Lakers (10-16) play against the Sacramento Kings (8-15) on Monday at Golden 1 Center to open a seven-game trip. Young might build off of his 15-point effort on 6-of-11 shooting despite not even completing any games of 3-on-3 in Saturday’s practice.

But the Lakers (10-16) will also have to fix a poor defense that Lakers forward Julius Randle called “embarrassing” for understandable reasons.

– Orange County Register

Quick Take: Despite the recent losing streak, the Lakers are in 9th place in the West, which isn’t that bad considering how young the Laker squad is and the injuries they’ve dealt with so far this season. Above them in the West standings in 8th place are the Trail Blazers. The biggest Laker problem this season has been their awful defense, so pay extra attention to the squad on that side of the floor.

Lakers dealing with multiple injuries

Lakers dealing with multiple injuries

When Lakers coach Luke Walton and his staff meet before every game to finalize offensive sets and defensive schemes, they often tackle another question. Who do we start?

Finding themselves without D’Angelo Russell (left knee), Nick Young (right leg) and Jose Calderon (right hamstring) in recent weeks, those conversations have become more difficult.

As the Lakers were reminded in their 134-95 loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday at Toyota Center, seemingly none of the combinations they have tried since the slew of injuries has adequately addressed the team’s diminished backcourt situation or its slow starts. On Wednesday, Walton started seldom-used guard Marcelo Huertas at point guard and inserted reserve Jordan Clarkson into the starting shooting guard spot he assumed for all of the 2015-16 season.

– OC Register

Quick Take:  The Lakers are 10-14 this season, which is solid considering they’ve lost four games in a row and seven of their last 10. Earlier in the season when they enjoyed good health, they were one of the most fun teams to watch in the league. There’s no reason why they can’t resume that once the squad is complete again.

Jose Calderon out 2-4 weeks with hamstring strain

Lakers guard Jose Calderon, who was injured in the first quarter of Saturday night’s game in Memphis, was evaluated and had an MRI by team orthopedist Dr. David McAllister of UCLA Health. The results confirmed a right hamstring strain, which is expected to sideline Calderón 2-4 weeks.

In 14 games (nine starts) this season for the Lakers, Calderón is averaging 4.7 points, 2.6 assists, and 2.2 rebounds in 13.9 minutes per game while shooting 41.7% from three-point range.

Lakers assign Ivica Zubac to D-League

The Los Angeles Lakers have assigned center Ivica Zubac to the Los Angeles D-Fenders, it was announced today.

Zubac was selected by the Lakers with the 32nd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and has appeared in three games for the team this season.

The center is expected to be in uniform when the D-Fenders host the Rio Grande Valley Vipers at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Toyota Sports Center.

As a kid, Nick Young wanted to be a Hollywood stunt man

Before a superstar girlfriend made him tabloid royalty and before a video leak made him a pariah; before one coach sent him to the bench and a new one rescued him from it; before he was Swaggy P or could even dunk, Nicholas Young wanted to be in the movies.

Specifically, he yearned for a life as a Hollywood stunt man.

His mother, Mae, took Nick and his brothers to Universal Studios and the future Lakers guard became enamored with the anonymous role players who ran through fire and fought with swords and scaled walls without suffering a scratch.

At home, Nick jumped off the roof of the garage and the family’s Culver City apartment. He built ramps in the street to perform bicycle tricks.

“He was a very difficult child,” Mae Young, Nick’s mother, said, “because he was constantly bruised and cut and scraped up.”

– Orange County Register

The Los Angeles Lakers have exercised their team options for the 2017-18 season on forwards Larry Nance Jr. and Julius Randle, and guard D’Angelo Russell, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Nance Jr., selected with the 27th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, appeared in 63 games (22 starts) in his rookie season, tallying three double-doubles. He finished third among all rookies in field goal percentage (52.7%) and 10th in rebounds per game (5.0). On January 14 at Golden State, Nance Jr. recorded a career-high six steals, becoming the first Laker rookie since Eddie Jones to have at least six takeaways in a game.

Randle, the seventh overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, was one of only nine players in the NBA last season to average a double-double, and did so in the fewest minutes per game of anyone in that group (11.3 points and 10.2 rebounds in 28.2 minutes per game). He appeared in 81 games (60 starts) in 2015-16, registering 34 double-doubles and one triple-double, finishing the season ranked sixth in the NBA in total rebounds. Randle was chosen by USA Basketball to compete with the USA Men’s Select Team that trained with the Men’s National Team in Las Vegas this summer in preparation for the Olympics.

The second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, Russell garnered All-Rookie Second Team honors after finishing last season ranked fourth among rookies in assists (3.3) and steals (1.16) per game and fifth in points (13.2) and three-point field goal percentage (35.1%). He was one of 10 American rookie and sophomore players selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star 2016, and became the youngest player in NBA history to make 120+ three-pointers in a season. Russell was chosen by USA Basketball to compete with the USA Men’s Select Team that trained with the Men’s National Team in Las Vegas this summer in preparation for the Olympics.

Lakers waive Anthony Brown

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived forward Anthony Brown.

Brown appeared in six games this preseason, averaging 3.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game. As a rookie with the Lakers last season, Brown averaged 4.0 points and 2.4 rebounds in 29 games (11 starts).

The Lakers roster stands at 15.

Lakers waive Yi Jianlian

Lakers waive Yi Jianlian

The Los Angeles Lakers announced today that they have waived forward/center Yi Jianlian, per the request of Yi and his agent.

“Yi was productive in practices and games with us, and was a consummate professional both on and off the court,” said General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “However, he felt that the minutes and opportunities he’d be afforded here were not in line with his goals and ambitions, and that he’d be better off in a different situation. We appreciate his efforts and wish him great success as he goes forward with his career.”

Yi, the 6th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, averaged 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per game over six contests with the Lakers this preseason.

The Lakers roster stands at 16.

Brandon Ingram is a rookie to watch this season. He appears to have all the potential in the world, but there’s no pressure on him to do big things right away. So we’re probably going to see occasional bursts of excellence. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News with the latest:

Brandon Ingram plays his best preseason game

The movement looked so natural as Brandon Ingram navigated his way around the court.

He sank shots with balance as he set his feet and squared up in triple threat position. He scanned the court and found open teammates both in half-court and transition. He slid his deceptively thin frame into the lane to pluck rebounds off the rim as if they were apples on a tree.

The Lakers fell in love with Ingram when he perfected all those qualities during his lone season at Duke. After seeing him experience some hiccups in summer league and training camp, the Lakers saw Ingram flash signs of promising growth in their 123-112 preseason loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday at Valley View Casino Center.

Ingram led the Lakers in points (21), in shooting efficiency (7 of 10) and rebounds (seven). He occasionally took care of ball handling duties both to tap into his versatility and take advantage of Golden State’s matchups that calls for positions to become interchangeable. And he put together a performance that made Lakers coach Luke Walton feel fuzzy about the team’s No. 2 draft pick.

Lakers waive Julian Jacobs, Zach Auguste and Travis Wear

The Lakers waived guard Julian Jacobs and forwards Zach Auguste and Travis Wear today.

Auguste was signed on August 29 and did not appear in any of the four preseason games for the Lakers. He averaged 5.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in 15:41 minutes per game in four games (one start) for the Lakers’ entry in the 2016 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Jacobs was signed September 1 and appeared in two preseason games for Los Angeles, scoring three points with two assists in 11 minutes.

Wear was also signed September 1, and saw action in two preseason games for the Lakers, scoring three points in addition to two rebounds in 11 minutes.

The Lakers training camp roster stands at 17.

Lakers announce staff hirings

Lakers announce staff hirings

The Lakers have announced the hirings of Jennifer Swanson as Head Physical Therapist, Stacey Robinson as Massage Therapist, and Sean Light as Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. The trio will report to Head Athletic Trainer Marco Nuñez, joining Assistant Athletic Trainer Nina Hsieh, Strength and Conditioning Coach Tim DiFrancesco, and Equipment Manager Carlos Maples on the training staff.

The team has also hired Lorena Martin as Director of Sports Performance Analytics and Jae Kim as Basketball Data Analyst, both of whom will report to Director of Basketball Analytics Yuju Lee.

The team also hired Joshua Wright as Assistant to the Head Coach, reporting to Head Coach Luke Walton.

Swanson brings over 12 years of experience working with professional and collegiate athletes from the NFL, NHL, MLS, and MLB, among others, to her position. Most recently, she served as Director of Sports Performance with the Chicago Bulls from 2013-16, integrating the medical, rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, massage therapy, and nutrition programming into customized individual plans to decrease injury risk and maximize on-court performance. She obtained her doctorate in physical therapy from Duke University in 2004 and a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science with a minor in psychology from the University of California, Davis in 2001. In addition, the Gilroy, CA native completed a sports physical therapy residency at the University of Pittsburgh/Center for Rehab Services in 2006, where she also spent one year as a physical therapy intern with the Pittsburgh Steelers. She is a board certified specialist in sports and orthopedics, as well as a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

Martin most recently completed three years of postdoctoral research at the University of California San Diego. Dr. Martin’s credentials include post-doctorates in epidemiology, biostatistics, and GIS spatial analysis, a doctorate in exercise physiology, and both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in psychology. She also spent time as a visiting scientist at the SALK Institute for Biological Studies in the Belmonte Gene Expression Laboratory. In addition, Dr. Martin has taught multiple courses at various universities including the University of Miami, Florida International University, and Northwestern University in the fields of research methods, statistics, sports performance, and data science, which later resulted in her developing a course in sports performance analytics for Northwestern University. Additionally, she published a sole-authored book, Sports Performance Measurement and Analytics, earlier this year based on sports performance research, her experiences as a former professional tennis player, and knowledge from her previous work with professional sports teams in the NBA, NFL, and ATP Tour, as well as within hospital and clinical research settings.

Robinson comes to the Lakers after working with Joubert Physical Therapy in Beverly Hills for the last 10 years, helping with the athletic rehabilitation of a variety of clients, including professional athletes. Last year, she performed sports massage, tissue work, and stretching on individual New York Yankees players. Her professional sports experience as a massage therapist extends to working with the Dallas Cowboys for three seasons during training camp, and the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League. She holds a business degree with an associate of science minor from Fullerton Junior College while simultaneously attending the Institute of Professional Practical Therapy, where she earned her sports massage therapy certification.

Light joins the team after serving as a strength and conditioning coach for the past four seasons with minor league affiliates in the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system. He assisted at spring training with the parent club each of the last four years, and was previously a strength and conditioning intern with the New York Yankees in 2012. He graduated from Quinnipiac University in 2010, where he played three years of Division I basketball. Light is a registered strength and conditioning coach and massage therapist.

Kim was most recently analytics manager for the University of California, Berkeley men’s basketball team for the 2015-16 season. In his role, he composed regular analytical scouting reports for the coaching staff and assisted in the recruitment process, promoting the Golden Bears program to prospective athletes. Kim received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Haas School of Business while at Cal. A native of South Korea, he studied statistics and worked as a legislative assistant for the National Assembly of South Korea.

Wright holds a degree in kinesiology from Georgetown College, where he was a member of the football team. Last season, the Elizabethtown, KY native volunteered with the Wake Forest men’s basketball program.

The Los Angeles D-Fenders on Monday have named Coby Karl as head coach. He replaces Casey Owens, who takes over as an assistant coach and advance scout on the Los Angeles Lakers staff.

“We are excited to welcome Coby back to the D-Fenders family as our new head coach,” Buss said. “His extensive experience as both a player and coach in this league is something we’re very happy to bring to the organization as we look to build on a season of success.”

“It is an honor to be back with the Lakers organization, the team that gave me my first job and allowed me to realize my dream of playing in the NBA,” Karl said. “My goal going forward will be to foster an environment and culture that permits our players and staff to fulfill their dreams. Our pursuit will focus on excellence, both as individuals and as members of the Los Angeles D-Fenders organization.”

Karl returns to the D-Fenders organization after appearing in 17 games for the team during the 2007-08 season while on assignment from the Lakers. On February 19, 2008, Karl became the second player in NBA Development League history to play in an NBADL and NBA game in the same day, following former Lakers guard Jordan Farmar. As a player, Karl saw action with the Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors of the NBA, as well as with the D-Fenders, Reno Bighorns, and Idaho Stampede of the NBADL. He most recently served as an assistant coach on the Westchester Knicks staff during the 2015-16 season at the conclusion of his playing career.

Karl, the son of NBA veteran coach George Karl, began his coaching career by spending last season as an assistant coach with the Westchester Knicks. While in the Empire State, he helped the Knicks earn their first playoff berth in franchise history as Westchester improved from 10-40 in 2014-15 to 28-22 during the 2015-16 campaign.

Undrafted in 2007, Karl was invited to participate in training camp with the Lakers, making the Opening Day 15-man roster as a free agent. Karl would go on to play professionally for eight seasons before retiring in 2015.

Along with his domestic experience, Karl also knows the international game, having played professionally in Spain, Italy, and Germany.

Shaq discusses the current Lakers

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the basketball legends being inducted into the Hall of Fame Friday. But here’s what he had to say about the current Lakers squad, as reported by the Orange County Register:

Shaq discusses the current Lakers

“They’re definitely going to be exciting,” O’Neal said during a Hall of Fame news conference Thursday, “but I don’t see them being a contender for a while. I mean, they’ve still got to go up against Golden State in the West, they’ve got to go up against OKC, still got to go up against Cleveland, the Rockets. So they have a long way to go to be a contender.

“Every now and then they’ll make some noise and get the people in the Staples Center excited.” …

O’Neal acknowledged no being “really familiar with the talent” on the Lakers roster, but did say that he has high expectations for rookie Brandon Ingram, the No. 2 pick in June’s draft.

“I like Ingram,” O’Neal said. “Think he needs to get a little bit stronger, but I think Luke is going to come to some type of system where’s he’s going to be out on the perimeter, doesn’t need to post up that much.”

Lakers re-sign Tarik Black

Lakers re-sign Tarik Black

The Lakers have re-signed center Tarik Black, the team announced today.

New addition Timofey Mozgov will likely start at center for the Lakers. Black will be a reserve.

“Tarik is a player whose strengths are well-suited for the style of play we envision for our team going forward,” said General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “He plays the game with a mix of athleticism, energy, and physicality that make him a valuable frontcourt contributor in today’s NBA.”

In two seasons with the Lakers, Black has averaged 5.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 16.9 per game while shooting 57.5% from the field over 77 games (27 starts). Awarded to the Lakers on a waiver claim on December 28, 2014, he also appeared in 25 games (12 starts) for the Houston Rockets to begin the 2014-15 season before being waived.

The 24-year-old Black averaged 9.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game on 60.5% shooting after being reinserted into the starting lineup at center in 2014-15, and finished his rookie season ranked second amongst all first year players in offensive rebounds per game and third in total rebounds per game. On April 12, 2015, he grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds, becoming the first Lakers rookie since Leroy Ellis in 1963 to record that many rebounds in a game.

Lakers sign rookie Brandon Ingram

Lakers sign rookie Brandon Ingram

The Lakers have finally signed rookie forward Brandon Ingram.

The team is hoping for big things from Ingram, who appears to have as much talent and upside as any rookie in his class.

How quickly he’ll be able to mature both physically and as a player to become effective will be worth watching, on a national level, not just in Los Angeles.

Drafted with the second overall selection of the 2016 NBA Draft in June, Ingram averaged 12.2 points (second on the team), 4.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists over his five games (all starts) at the 2016 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Following his Summer League play, Ingram was selected by USA Basketball to participate as a member of the 2016 USA Men’s Select Team.

According to the Orange County Register, “Ingram remained unsigned while the Lakers tried to maximize flexibility in free agency to sign players. His rookie contract is expected to be worth about $23.8 million over four seasons, with Ingram set to make about $5.3 million this season.”

The 18-year-old was the consensus ACC Freshman of the year in his lone collegiate season at Duke, while also earning a consensus Second Team All-ACC selection. He finished the season ranked sixth in the ACC in scoring (17.3), seventh in three-point percentage (.410) and minutes played (34.6), ninth in three-pointers made per game (2.2), 10th in blocks (1.4), and 13th in rebounds (6.8).

The Kinston, NC native was Duke’s leading scorer in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 23.0 points per game to go along with 6.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists over the three games, scoring at least 20 points in each contest and playing in 119 of a possible 120 minutes of action.

The 6’9’’ Ingram was a member of USA Basketball’s 2015 United States Junior National Select Team and was a Parade All-American as a senior at Kinston High School. He won four straight 2A state championships, becoming one of two players in history to win four consecutive North Carolina State Championships, and was MVP of the state championship game as a senior.

Lakers sign Yi Jianlian

Lakers sign Yi Jianlian

Forward Yi Jianlian is back in the NBA. The Lakers officially signed him today.

“We’re excited to have a player of his worldwide accomplishments,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “We look forward to bringing him to training camp and hopefully having him make an impact on our team.”

The Lakers frontcourt revolves around Luol Deng, Julius Randle, and if he’s ready, rookie Brandon Ingram, plus Timofey Mozgov at center. Jianlian adds some forward depth.

Yi, who hails from the Guangdong Province in China, recently concluded competing for his country at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, averaging 20.4 points (3rd overall in group play competition), 6.6 rebounds (6th), 1.4 steals (t-6th), and 1.0 blocks (t-6th) per game over his five contests while shooting 46.7% from three-point range.

Drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, Yi last appeared in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks during the 2011-12 season. Over his five-year NBA career, the 6’11’’ Yi averaged 7.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks in 22.2 minutes per game over 272 contests (163 starts) with the Bucks, New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards, and Mavericks.

Prior to joining the NBA, the 28-year-old played professionally for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association beginning in 2002, and played the last four seasons with the organization as well. He is a four-time CBA champion, eight-time CBA MVP, and two-time CBA Finals MVP, in addition to a decorated international career that includes winning three gold medals at the FIBA Asia Championships (2015, 2011, and 2005) and gold at the 2006 Asian Games.

The Lakers have hired Jud Buechler, Brian Keefe, and Theo Robertson as player development coaches on Head Coach Luke Walton’s staff, joining associate head coach Brian Shaw and assistant coaches Jesse Mermuys and Mark Madsen.

Additionally, it was announced that Casey Owens has been named assistant coach/advance professional scout and Will Scott has been named to the staff as video coordinator.

Buechler enjoyed a 12-year playing career highlighted by winning three consecutive championships with the Chicago Bulls from 1996-98, and was a member of the 1995-96 Bulls team that went 72-10 in the regular season. The Poway, CA native also suited up for the Nets, Spurs, Warriors, Pistons, Suns, and Magic between the 1990-91 and 2001-02 seasons and appeared in 720 regular season and 71 postseason games.

Keefe comes to L.A. after spending the last two seasons serving as an assistant coach with the New York Knicks. Prior to his stint with the Knicks, Keefe spent seven seasons working with the Oklahoma City Thunder after joining the franchise in the summer of 2007, where he was a player development coach for two years before spending his last five seasons as an assistant coach. During his time with the Thunder, the team reached the post-season five times including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2012. Before joining the Thunder, Keefe worked for two seasons as an assistant video coordinator with the San Antonio Spurs and was a member of the coaching staff that won an NBA Championship in 2007.

Robertson joins the Lakers after spending the previous two seasons with the Golden State Warriors, where he was part of the 2015 NBA championship as the team’s video intern, working with Steve Kerr’s coaching staff assisting with game preparation. He was promoted to video coordinator/player development prior to the 2015-16 season, working on-court with players in addition to his game-planning responsibilities.

Owens transitions to his role with the Lakers after spending last season serving as Head Coach for their D-league affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders. In his first season as Head Coach of the D-Fenders, Owens led the team to its second Western Conference Championship and a trip to the D-League Finals. In addition, Owens helped produce two NBA Call-Ups in Justin Harper (Detroit Pistons) and Jeff Ayres (L.A. Clippers). Owens got his start with the D-Fenders as an assistant coach for the team during the 2013-14 season. A 17-year veteran of professional basketball, Owens has worked in coaching, player development and scouting at the NBA, NBA D-League, Continental Basketball Association, and international levels, and worked with the Lakers coaching staff throughout their 2015 training camp and preseason and 2016 NBA Summer League.

Scott has assisted the Lakers in the video room since the 2011-12 season, while simultaneously working for the D-Fenders. The Los Angeles native was promoted to assistant coach/video coordinator with the D-Fenders last season, where his responsibilities grew to include scouting upcoming opponents and assisting in on-court player development, as the team reached the D-League Finals. During the summers of 2014 and 2015, Scott served as video coordinator of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, where he developed video scouting reports on opponents and was intimately involved in game-planning and daily coaching operations.

Lakers re-sign Marcelo Huertas

Lakers re-sign Marcelo Huertas

The Lakers have re-signed point guard Marcelo Huertas.

The Lakers backcourt is built around D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson. The bench rotation includes Jose Calderon, Nick Young and Huertas.

In his first NBA season with the Lakers last year after playing professionally in Brazil, Spain, and Italy since 2001, Huertas averaged a team-best 3.4 assists per game in addition to 4.5 points and 1.7 rebounds over 53 games.

“Marcelo’s understanding of the game, unselfishness, and professionalism are assets to our team and he has an uncanny ability to change the pace of the game,” said General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “He’s fundamentally solid but also has a flair and excitement to his style of play, which makes him a fan favorite.”

Prior to coming stateside, Huertas spent the previous four seasons (2011-15) with Spanish power FC Barcelona, where he was a key piece on their 2011-12 and 2013-14 Spanish National Championship and 2013 Spanish National Cup-winning teams. He also has 165 games of Euroleague experience, and was the 2013-14 Euroleague Top 16 Round Two MVP.

The Brazilian native has extensive international experience, notably representing his country at the 2012 Olympics in London, where he led the squad with 6.0 assists per game in addition to 11.3 points, good for second-best on the roster. He is currently a member of the Brazilian national team that will participate in this month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He has also appeared on three consecutive FIBA Basketball World Cup teams in 2006, 2010, and 2014. His decorated international resume includes gold medals from the 2006 South American Championship (where he was named MVP of the tournament after averaging a team-leading 16.8 points to go with 4.0 assists) and 2007 Pan American Games, in addition to three medals from the FIBA Americas Championship: 2005 and 2009 (gold), and 2011 (silver).

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