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Finding the Next Young Diamond in the Rough Among Available NBA Free Agents

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Finding the Next Young Diamond in the Rough Among Available NBA Free Agents
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Sometimes, the book on a young player is written and closed a little too quickly.

Not all players fail right away because they don't have the skills. Maybe enough patience wasn't exercised by the coaching staff, or maybe there wasn't enough of an opportunity given. There are so many different factors that influence a player's development, it's often hard to peg down one reason why it didn't work.

Take Los Angeles Lakers guard Xavier Henry, for example. After failing to make any impact for the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Hornets, Henry looked like he was out of the league for good.

But now in Mike D'Antoni's spread out, uptempo offense, driving lanes are suddenly open and Henry can use his great size and strength to draw fouls and get to the rim.

Yes, Henry needs to show that his touch from outside isn't a fluke, but this is an offense that suits him much better than the incredibly slow-paced play of his former teams.

Henry's pedigree and natural ability made him worth a shot, and the risk looks to be panning out early for the Lakers. In the right system with the right opportunity, the following free agents might be able to have similar success. 

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