The Los Angeles Lakers and Stanley Johnson are a match made in Heaven. Like Johnson, the Lakers had high expectations of success, but unfortunate turns at every stop have changed their circumstances. When Johnson was on the outs of the league, the Lakers found a role tailored fit for his skills.
Tuesday’s win against the Brooklyn Nets marks the end of his third 10-day contract. However, Johnson will return to the team and will finally have a full-time role as The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the following:
Forward Stanley Johnson has agreed to a new two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Johnson’s final 10-day contract expires Wednesday, but his contagious defense, energy and play earn him a guaranteed rest of the year.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 26, 2022
Following Charania’s initial report, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski provided further details on the two-year deal, indicating that the 2022-23 year would be a team option for the Lakers.
The Lakers intend to sign F Stanley Johnson to a two-year deal, including a team option for 2022-2023, sources tell ESPN. Deal expected to be signed on Thursday.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 26, 2022
Johnson’s youth and defensive acumen fit right into their roster. It also helps that the much-maligned Frank Vogel might be the perfect coach for him. Vogel loves hustle and will reward players that show it.
Stanley Johnson is finally here to stay, and boy, he deserves it. He’s averaging 6.6 points on 52.6 percent shooting from the field. The added bonus to his heady defense is the corner three. As a Laker, he’s shooting 38.8 percent on 18 3-point attempts. This could prove to be a consolation with his continued effort.
The margins are always a hot topic for budding teams. For the Lakers, they’re no stranger to them. Alex Caruso, David Nwaba, and Austin Reaves are a few of many players they found interest in when no one else immediately did. It was no different when being Johnson aboard. Their move to integrate him with their G-League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, has paid dividends. The Lakers caught a little personnel luck, and now will have the option to bring him in again next season if they think he fits again.
For now, they’ll capitalize on that and secure a young pillar in place to steady the wandering ship.