The South Bay Lakers are off to a much better start to the G League season than the Los Angeles Lakers are to the NBA season. They are 6-1 and the top seed in the West. However, they are about to lose a top player.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, veteran forward Stanley Johnson will be leaving the G League and signing with the Chicago Bulls.
Johnson was the eighth overall pick by the Detroit Pistons back in 2015 and has bounced around the NBA since. The Lakers acquired his rights last month but he hasn’t had a chance to play on the active roster. Johnson spent training camp with Chicago so it’s logical that he’d land with the team. The Bulls used the hardship exemption to sign the forward due to a litany of players missing from the lineup due to injury and COVID-19 protocols. He’ll likely only be a temporary addition for the team but could earn a long-term spot should he prove reliable. Johnson averages 6.2 points a game over his career with 3.1 rebounds.
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LeBron James Doesn’t Believe Lakers Need Big Changes
As noted earlier, this season hasn’t gone perfectly for the Lakers. They are 13-12 and are inconsistent on both sides of the court. There have been many suggestions for roster moves the team could make to fix their issues. However, LeBron James doesn’t see the need for any big moves.
“It’s impossible for me to say, ‘OK, when do we get to a point when we need a change?’ I don’t think we even need to do that,” LeBron said Monday. “I love every guy that’s in this locker room. I believe in what we’re capable of doing when we get enough game reps and enough logged minutes. We’ve had guys in and out, especially me. I can’t even say how I feel at this point because I’ve been in the lineup half of the games. So I love what Rob [Pelinka] and Coach [Frank Vogel] and the front office did to assemble this team. We look forward to the journey ahead of us.”
If the Lakers can go on a run soon, talk of making big roster changes will quiet down. It’s up to the players to get things back on track.
Lakers Could Use a Winning Streak Right Now
The longest winning streak the Lakers have had this season was three games with two of those wins coming against the 7-16 Houston Rockets. They haven’t had an impressive winning streak all season. With a dominant 117-102 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, this would be a good time for the Lakers to go on a winning streak.
Four of their next five games are against teams with losing records. The only game against a winning team is the Memphis Grizzlies, who could be without star guard Ja Morant in their matchup as he was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Going on a winning streak right now would turn the Lakers’ season around.