Marcelo Huertas agreed to a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, as originally reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo! Sports. In terms of confirmation, Huertas took to Instagram to exclaim, "Purple and gold for 2 more years! Couldn't be happier to stay with this organization and people that have welcomed me so well last season!"
Huertas joined the Lakers and the NBA as a 32-year-old rookie during the 2015-16 NBA season. The Brazilian played for FC Barcelona in Spain from 2011 to 2015, before moving to LA.
In his rookie season, the veteran point guard averaged 4.5 points, 3.4 assists and 1.7 rebounds in only 16.4 minutes per game. Incredibly, Huertas' 3.4 assists led the team for the season, with D'Angelo Russell only averaging 3.3 helpers in 28.2 minutes per game.
Huertas rarely saw the court during the first half of the season but did manage to have an impact during the second half of the season. For the month of March, Huertas averaged 4.9 assists per game. In April, he improved that figure to 5.1 assists per game.
Huertas also has a cult following under his superhero-like nickname, "The Catalyst." Former coach Byron Scott referred to Huertas as "the catalyst" after a game in the previous season. Initially, fans used "The Catalyst" to describe Huertas ironically, as that game had been a particularly good game for then-rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell, but Scott had a reputation for not publicly lauding Russell enough. As time wore on, though, the Brazilian became the offensive distributor LA didn't necessarily deserve, as he entertained the crowd with bounce passes en route to a 17-win season.
Local news from across Southern California
By the end of the year, the nickname had stuck and was no longer a joke.
The announcement of the agreement, though, arrives at a curious time. The Lakers announced the arrival of Jose Calderon, who is another aging point guard, via a trade. Huertas and Calderon seem to fill similar roles on the team: veteran backup point guards.
Russell expects to assume the bulk of the minutes at the point guard position, as the starter, and one would expect Calderon and Huertas will compete for the backup minutes. Clarkson can also play minutes at point guard, so LA appears to beyond set at the position.