Lakers Sign Forward, Former Top-10 Pick to Multi-Year Contract: Report

stanley johnson

Getty Los Angeles Lakers forward Stanley Johnson.

Things are finally starting to look up for the Los Angeles Lakers. Anthony Davis finally returned from injury and the team had a decisive 106-96 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. There’s been a lot of talk about how the Lakers need to make a trade by the deadline but they may have to rely on the pieces they already have on the roster.

Earlier in the season, the team found a solid piece in Stanley Johnson. The former No. 8 overall pick by the Detroit Pistons spent time on the South Bay Lakers in the G League this season before getting a 10-day deal in Los Angeles. He’s impressed with his defense and did enough to earn a second 10-day contract.

Well, that second contract finally ran out and the Lakers decided to keep him for the rest of the season and possibly beyond. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Johnson is getting a two-year deal with the team.

The second year of the contract with a team option, per Kyle Goon, so the Lakers could move on after the season if they’d like.

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Johnson Developing Into Key Piece

This has to be a dream scenario for Johnson. He finally gets a contract from his hometown team. While it’s a feel-good story, this was a necessary move for the Lakers to make. The roster is old and not very good on defense. Johnson brings youth as he’s only 25-years-old. He’s also been an impact player on defense.

He’s impressed the Lakers so much that’s earned a starting spot in six games, including the recent win over the Nets. Johnson doesn’t bring much on the offensive end. He’s averaging 6.4 points a game and only hitting 34.4% of his 3-point attempts. However, the Lakers don’t need him to be dynamic on offense. There’s plenty of offensive talent on the roster but not a lot of great defenders. If Johnson continues to be a great defender, he could stick around with the team past this season.

LeBron James Has Been Impressed With Johnson

Johnson never caught on with the Pistons but that doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t play. He was a high draft pick for a reason. For whatever reason, things didn’t work out in Detroit but he’s showing once again why he was drafted so high. Even Lakers teammate LeBron James has been impressed with him.

“People forget that he was a top-10 pick in our league and he’s only 25 years old,” LeBron said recently, via The Undefeated. “He’s a guy that’s hungry and wants to go out and prove that he belongs in the NBA and trying to stick here to stay for as long as he can.”

The Lakers are all about winning championships so if Johnson continues to play selflessly and doing the dirty work on defense, he’s going to gain a lot of fans. Los Angeles was wise to give him another contract and his role could continue to expand as the season goes on.

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