Lakers sign former lottery pick Wesley Johnson

July 15, 2013

Dwight Howard may be gone, but since that fiasco the Los Angeles Lakers have made several shrewd personnel moves for bargain prices. Their latest acquisition continues that trend, as the team announced the signing of free agent forward Wesley Johnson today. Reports indicate that it is a one-year deal for approximately $1 million.

Originally selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Johnson has appeared in 194 career games (148 starts), averaging 7.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists as a member of the Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns.

Johnson is still somewhat raw, but is a decent three-point shooter and an excellent leaper who can finish in traffic. More importantly, he is an improving player who still has plenty of upside.

“Wesley is a young, athletic player who runs the floor well and is an excellent defender,” said General Manager 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.”

With Johnson and Nick Young on the roster, the Lakers finally have some athleticism at the 2 and the 3 to help support Kobe Bryant.

A three-year NBA veteran, Johnson averaged a career-high 9.0 points during his rookie season with Minnesota, ranking sixth among rookies in scoring and third in three-point accuracy (35.6 percent).

At Syracuse, Johnson helped the Orange to a 30-5 record in 2009-10 and was named a First Team All-American.  The 6-7 forward averaged 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in his one season at Syracuse, being named Big East Player of the Year.

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

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