Free-agent guard Marcelo Huertas – one of the Euroleague’s most accomplished playmakers – has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Huertas, 32, could give the Lakers an experienced pick-and-roll point guard to complement the development of No. 2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell.
Huertas would be competing in a backcourt that also includes Jordan Clarkson, Lou Williams and star Kobe Bryant.
Huertas has played six seasons in the Spanish ACB for Barcelona, where he’s led Barca to three consecutive Euroleague Final Four appearances. He averaged 7.4 points and nearly five assists for Barcelona this season. Huertas is a career 87 percent free-throw shooter.
Huertas has been Brazil’s point guard in numerous Olympic Games, World Championships and FIBA America tournaments. He averaged 11 points and five assists for Brazil in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
“There’s so much more space in the NBA,” Huertas told Yahoo Sports in April. “It’s not like Europe now, where you have one guy full-time in the paint. Space is harder to come by. One of my strengths is playing in the pick-and-roll, finding open guys and making shots in the mid-range game off the dribble.
“I think that part is harder to find now, because you mostly have guys who get all the way to the hole, or they’re three-point shooters. And if I’m open, and I can get my feet set, I’m going to make a lot of those kind of shots.”
Huertas believes he can make a difference in the locker room, too, by mentoring young players and meshing with veterans. For the Lakers, Huertas could give them an ideal partner as Russell is groomed to become the franchise’s cornerstone.
“If you look at NBA rosters, there are unbelievable starting point guards, but maybe not as many guys who can come off the bench able to run the team, score the ball, as well as being able to be a leader for young players,” Huertas said. “Those are things I know I’ll be able to bring with me.”