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LA Lakers Reportedly Agree to Sign Swingman Wesley Johnson to 1-Year Deal

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2013

The Los Angeles Lakers have struck again.

Mitch Kupchak and company have been rather busy since Dwight Howard joined the Houston Rockets. From convincing Chris Kaman to take a pay cut to signing Nick Young, they've been stockpiling affordable one-year deals.

Add Wesley Johnson to the list of depth on the cheap now.

According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, Johnson and the Lakers agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth approximately $1 million.

After amnestying Metta World Peace, the Lakers had a clear need for an extra body on the perimeter. Johnson isn't the defender or scorer World Peace is, but he guards the perimeter well and can knock down the occasional three-pointer.

A former fourth overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Johnson spent last season with the Phoenix Suns, averaging eight points in 19.1 minutes per game.

At 6'7", Johnson can man the shooting guard and small forward slots, a blessing for a Lakers team that is not only now down World Peace but also doesn't know when Kobe Bryant will return.

Not known as much of a scorer, he has been able to provide valuable minutes on the defensive end. Last year, he held opposing shooting guards and small forwards to a combined average PER of 13.5, well below the league average of 15, according to 82games.com.

Despite what Johnson has always been capable of doing, however, he's never emerged as a consistently integral part of a rotation.

Minnesota parted ways with him after just two seasons, as it became pretty clear early on he wasn't going to be a part of its future. The hope was that he would start to broach the potential a fourth overall pick should have in Phoenix, but his tenure there was marred by additional inconsistencies as well.

Still, this was another signing that fit what the Lakers were looking for. The Lakers are officially all in for the summer of 2014, and Johnson's one-year deal doesn't compromise any of the cap space they're projected to have next year.

Whether or not he makes a contribution worth talking about next season isn't the point. The Lakers filled a need by bringing in Johnson, and it didn't come at the expense of what they're hoping to do next.

That's what matters. 


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