One of the biggest surprises for the Los Angeles Lakers this season has been the emergence of former lottery pick and free agent pickup, Wesley Johnson. Although Johnson has his fair share of flaws, he's made an impression in his short time with the Lakers and is reportedly interested in signing a long-term deal with the team in the off-season according to Lang Greene of Hoopsworld.com on Dec. 19:
“This is definitely a place I want to be,” Johnson said on his upcoming free agency. “I love Los Angeles. I love the organization. I love the people that I’ve been around since I’ve been there. I definitely think this could be a long term thing. We just have to wait and see.”
Not only has Johnson proven to be a force offensively for the Lakers this season, but he's also made an impact on the defensive end. Johnson had some big shoes to fill at the small forward position with Metta World Peace being amnestied by the team in the off-season and he's done a decent job thus far.
Johnson's length, athleticism and ability to be a force from beyond the arc has been a useful asset for head coach Mike D'Antoni. As a result of Johnson fitting into D'Antoni's system, the veteran forward has seen considerable playing time and will continue to as he seems to improve with every passing game.
The real question moving forward is if there is mutual interest between the Lakers and Johnson. So far, Johnson has made a strong case to be re-signed in the off-season with the forward scoring 8.3 points per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the floor and 40.5 percent from distance. Johnson is also averaging 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals per game in his first season with the Lakers.
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