SEPTEMBER 9TH, 1:29pm: The deal is official, the Lakers announced.
AUGUST 31ST, 3:54pm: The Lakers and Brazilian point guard Marcelo Huertas have come to terms on a one-year deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). Ismail Senol of the Turkish outlet NTV SPOR had reported earlier today that Huertas would sign with a Western Conference team (Twitter link; translation via Sportando’s Orazio Cauchi). Huertas had reportedly agreed to a deal with Galatasaray of Turkey, but he asked for more time to scan NBA interest, as Cauchi relays via Senol.
Wojnarowski first reported four months ago that Huertas was planning to sign with an NBA team this year and that he was expected to draw aggressive pursuit from teams seeking a backup. The 6’3″ Huertas, who turned 32 in May, seemed to change his mind shortly thereafter, but agent Gerard Darnes said a month ago that Huertas was still focused on landing an NBA deal and that Octagon colleague Alex Saratsis continued to negotiate toward that end on his behalf.
Huertas went undrafted back in 2005 and has played each season since in Spain, save for a year in Italy. He’s been a mainstay for FC Barcelona the past four seasons, and he averaged 7.7 points, 4.3 assists and 1.8 turnovers in 21.1 minutes per game in 2014/15.
It’s unclear whether the Lakers are exceeding the rookie minimum of $525,093 for Huertas, though that’s often required to convince European players to sign stateside. If that’s the case, the Lakers have their $2.814MM to dip into. They only have 12 fully guaranteed contracts, as our roster count shows, so there’s plenty of roster flexibility and a decent chance for Huertas to stick for opening night if he isn’t the 13th Laker with a guaranteed deal.
The Lakers are taking some risks this offseason. What do you think of their approach? Leave a comment to tell us.