New faces, new places. The Lakers keep making offseason moves in an effort to revamp the offense and improve their bench. With the departures of Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison, and Earl Clark, the Lakers are attracting free agents to L.A. on one-year veteran minimum deals.
The Lakers are conserving money and are trying to build the necessary cap space to go after players in the coveted 2014 free agency class. Wesley Johnson officially signed with the Lakers on Monday on a one-year deal for an undisclosed figure.
According to Lakers.com, GM Mitch Kupchak had the following to say about Johnson:
“Wesley is a young, athletic player who runs the floor well and is an excellent defender,” said Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak.
“He’s a developing player who we think could become a good NBA player for years to come. He’s also a great kid and we’re happy to add him to our team.”
Johnson was the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves. In his rookie year with the Timberwolves, Johnson averaged 9.0 ppg, which was ranked sixth among rookies and was third in percent three-point accuracy (35.6 percent). Johnson played two seasons for Minnesota before he was traded to the Phoenix Suns in 2012 in a three-team deal. During his time in Phoenix, Johnson averaged 8.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg in 19 minutes of play, starting in 21 of 50 games.
Johnson has a career average of 7.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, shooting 4o-percent from the field and 33-percent from three-point land in 23.1 minutes per game.
The Lakers believe that Johnson will provide athleticism and a spark of youth off the bench. The team was one of the oldest in the league last year, and already this offseason they have become significantly younger by adding talent such as Johnson, Nick Young, and second-round draft pick, Ryan Kelly (expected to officially sign).
The Lakers look to run and gun more this season with younger shooters, which caters to Mike D’Antoni’s system. The one thing we know for sure is that the Lakers will be fun to watch, regardless of what their record will display. Count on youth and threes.
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