Lakers season wrap: Chris Duhon wasn’t expected to play
Chris Duhon was a throw-in when the Lakers acquired Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic last summer.
With Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Darius Morris on the roster, Duhon wasn’t projected to be a regular-rotation player, but injuries to Nash and Blake early in the season thrust him into a vital role until they returned.
In nine starts, Duhon averaged a strong 45.8% from the field with 5.4 assists in 31.6 minutes. His best game was in a loss to the Utah Jazz in which he had 12 points and 11 assists.
On the year, he averaged 2.9 points a game over 46 games. Duhon shot just 38.2% from the field, showing he was clearly much more efficient as a starter.
Coach Mike D’Antoni preferred Morris when the team needed more of a defensive presence. Duhon was the choice if the Lakers needed to run a more organized offense, but his defense was far from impressive.
Duhon is going into the final year of his deal at $3.75 million. Only $1.5 million is guaranteed, which suggests Duhon’s stint with the Lakers will be a short one.
Cutting him could save the Lakers approximately $9.6 million in luxury taxes (depending on how high the team’s payroll ends up next season and where the league sets the tax threshold).
Duhon could also be used as a trade piece, assuming the Lakers are willing to take on salary in return. Or, the team may just cut him loose for the tax savings.
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