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Lakers agree to one-year deal with Wesley Johnson

Jul 14, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Wesley Johnson AP

The Lakers are in need of a lot of things at a very low price, as the team prepares for the season after next when it will have all the cap space in the world to spend on any available free agent they can convince to come to Los Angeles.

Before then, they have to get through this upcoming season, and do so by filling out the roster with guys who are in a situation where they need some exposure in order to perhaps earn a bigger, multi-year deal from someone else the following season.

The signings of Chris Kaman and Nick Young certainly fall into that category, as does the Lakers’ most recent acquisition.

From Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angles Times:

The report has been confirmed by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles.

Johnson is a classic “three-and-D” guy, although he’s historically been at the lower end of the spectrum in both of those categories. But what he does provide is some athleticism that L.A. is sorely lacking, with a starting lineup that features an aging Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, along with a version of Kobe Bryant that will be questionable at best, at least to start the season, following surgery to repair his torn Achilles.

Johnson began his career with the Timberwolves, and averaged 8.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 19.1minutes per game for the Suns last season. He shot a career-best 40.7 percent from the field, but connected on just 32.3 percent of his looks from three-point distance.

  1. halfbaht - Jul 14, 2013 at 7:01 AM

    Lakers are going to be rubbish next season. Guess they’re hoping to land a big fish FA in 2014

    • kb2408 - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      “Rubbish”? Will they win the title next season? Probably not. But I think rubbish is a bit harsh. Rubbish was the days of Smush, Kwame and B. Cook. Which brings me to…last night I watched Kobe’s 81 point explosion for the first time. It was downright freaky seeing “81” next to a player’s name!! But I digress. The LAKERS will be better than .500 next season, if they get and stay healthy. That is not exactly rubbish. Albeit not title contenders either.

      • loubearkane - Jul 14, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        Lakers are going to screw up and end up being a 7 or 8 seed in the playoffs

      • reignjc - Jul 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

        Probably not????? haha DEFINATELY not!! wow

    • bchapman2011 - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      The Lakers need to emulate the Celtics and go into full tank season mode. They should trade Gasol for whatever assets they can get and Kobe should sit on the bench until after Christmas. It is already going to be a down year, we might as well expedite the rebuild process.

      • ambitoos - Jul 14, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        They still have contracts with present players. They can start rebuilding next year. I’m sure that is their plan.

  2. stephenolszewski - Jul 14, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    For a while I know Kobe was very fond of Wes, could be good for his career to play against Kobe in practices once healthy

  3. omniusprime - Jul 14, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    More garbage for the Lakers proving they have no interest in winning rings, the legacy of Jerky Boy Jimmy and his brain dead lackey Kupcake. More worthless garbage from Phoenix, What’s needed is to get rid of the slow Ancient Trash Nash and Steve Flake, two old white boys who can’t run or jump nor play a lick of defense. Plus the Lakers need a real coach, not that roach Dumbtoni who started the run on bringing in Phoenix’s trash.

    If the Lakers think that bringing in an overpriced Moron Melo next year then the team is truly lost. The Lakers need to replace Jerky Boy Jimmy with someone with a functioning brain or else the franchise will fade away into the dustbin of history, just like the Stuporsonics. I’m now not planning on watching any Laker games this upcoming season which means I’ll not watch any NBA games for the first time ever.

    Lakers – the NBA’s Garbage Collectors!

    • kb2408 - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Man, speaking of overly dramatic!! What exactly do you expect from the LAKERS next season?! We all know what’s happening here. We LAKERS fans are accustomed to winning but that doesn’t mean they win the title “every” season! Comparing the LAKERS to the Sonics?! Dude, really?? Are you a LAKERS fan or a Heat fan because right now you sound awfully bandwagonish (yeah, it’s a made up word, but in this instance it applies!). I tell you what, O.P., why don’t you just turn in your PURPLE AND GOLD and cheer for the Clips. But when the LAKERS are back in their rightful place as the Champions of the basketball universe, don’t you jump back on board. With “fans” like you who needs trolls?!!

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 14, 2013 at 7:12 PM

        I agree 100% with lakerluver/kb2408 on this one. o-prime, fall back dude. Take a nap and we’ll wake you up in July 2014.

        Kaman, Young and Johnson have been all good signings. And you know what, if we end up in the lottery…that’s kind of the idea bro. We probably really should only be signing D-Leaguers to get a leg-up on the competition for the #1 draft pick. At the price we are paying Wes, Nick, and Caveman…well, why the hell not?? We’re about to pull your
        LAKER card in a minute.

    • football58 - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      Wow I felt like I just read an essay from a 5 year old with all of the childish name calling.

    • funkmong - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:04 AM

      It might be rough to watch, but true fans will watch knowing that it’s just a matter of time. 2014-15 will be very interesting in terms of front office positioning, new/improved HC, new wave of players, etc.

    • spthegr8 - Jul 14, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      I’m TRULY not trying to be mean or rude when I say this but…. You DON’T have a CLUE about whats going on right now do you bruh??? For such a die hard fan, you don’t know a lot about basketball!!

  4. dyn0myte - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Since the Laker payroll is being slashed –

    I wonder if the comparable fan costs,
    the premium for the Laker cable tv channel, the tickets, the parking, the concessions, etc.
    will also be reduced to reflect the degraded product
    wearing the Laker uniform.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 14, 2013 at 7:19 PM

      Don’t count on it. But if the tickets fall down to old school Clipper prices, I can enjoy losing for a few years, eff it!!

      *hashtag* dontbreakmybankandletmeinforareasonableprice!!

  5. papadawa - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    As most of us, who actually follow the Laker organization understands…given that Jim Buss has become temporary roadblock to success…the main culprit concerning the Lakers inability to reload as they have always been able to do, is because of the revamping of the salary cap and the penalties involved in being over the cap…this change by the CZAR, er Commissioner, was meant to make it difficult for the large market teams, such as the Lakers, Knicks, Nets and Chicago, to be able to spend large sums on players salaries, as opposed to the smaller market teams, whose revenues are not comparable to the big market teams…so…given that…and taking a closer look at what actually, transpired last year, Laker nation should NOT be so insecure because of what is taking place, at present…remember, prior to last season, Mitch Kupchak had consummated a blockbuster trade, sending Odom to New Orleans, Pau to Houston and CP3 to the Lakers…and the CZAR, nixed the trade, since the NBA owned the Hornets, at the time…this proved to be a start of the season of horror for the Lakers…management, then attempted to make up for the loss of CP3, by adding Nash, which on paper, the team, lead by Kobe, Pau, D12 and Nash, was the talk of the NBA and Laker Nation was all buzzed up about the possibility of winning a championship this past year…and of course, the bottom fell out…everybody got hurt, so…the team never really jelled chemistrywise an add the ineptitude of the egotistical and narrow-minded, Jim Buss, who refused to hire either the Zen Master or his disciple, Brian Shaw, who all of the players wanted…and enter Mike D’Antoni, who has no more real NBA coaching cred, than I do…who was more concerned with running HIS offense, as opposed to installing a style of play that suits the players he had…so…the fact that the Lakers, under the disasterous circumstances of last season, made the playoffs and as a sixth seed, was pretty remarkable and a testament to Kobe’s brilliant play and leadership…Now, the Lakers have to deal with the immediate situation at hand…and to be honest, they are in the most enviable position of any team in the NBA, at this point…if they don’t do very well, in the upcoming season…and that still has to play out, they will be able to potentially, reload, in one swoop, next summer, with the largest bankroll for salaries, to possibly attract at least one, if not two, top level free agents and for sure, one plus a couple of above average ones to build a championship squad around and be under the cap, at the same time…as kb2408 said…if you are a frontrunner, sobeit, but when the Lake Show is back in the main ring, don’t come jumping back on the bandwagon, acting like you never left…one last note…I would suggest that the pressure is on D’Antoni, more than ever…his coaching future is on the line…his contract is over after this season…and I believe that might be why he was hired…to carry the water until after this season…then if management is able to land, say Lebron and a couple more high level players, a REAL coach, will then be hired to take the reins of the Laker stallions….

    • dyn0myte - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      That’s an interesting prediction papa.

      Here’s mine (in considerably less space).

      Within 7 years, under pressure from Time Warner Cable and others, because of declining interest and brand depreciation, the Los Angeles Lakers will be sold by the Buss family to a “group” of investors.

      • dyn0myte - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        Please understand.
        I get no pleasure from this.

        The “Fabulous Forum” in Inglewood California
        was home to more than a few of my childhood heroes.

      • wordpress3zzz - Jul 14, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        i hope you’re wrong, but thumbs up for going out on a limb and keeping it concise :)
        And I do agree with papa, the Lakers are really set up better than any team for next summer. Maybe Lebron doesn’t want to anchor the Lakers. Hopefully someone better than Melo does.

      • loubearkane - Jul 14, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        What will happen is the pressure will push Jim to the side and Jeanie will be the face of the Lakers with Big Chief Triangle right next to her.

    • brewdogg - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      Wow….. Hey pops, are you really William Shatner? Reading that, I felt like I was watching an old Star Trek episode. Do you….think you can…..writeinawaythatisnotso…..jerky?

      But seriously, if you want to see what the future holds for the Lakers, you can take a look at the state of the Yankees. The parallels are plain to see. Go ahead and sign Melo or whoever, but know that the Lakers are a stripped out franchise desperately trying to maintain their reputation with their fans. The short-term big-story moves may make you all woo-hoo in the offseason, but until this team is torn apart from top to bottom and rebuilt, all you are doing is the NBA version of grinding the top off a road and repaving it. It will look pretty for a little while, but the causes of all the cracks and holes still exist under the surface, and the only way to fix it is to rip it all out and build the road all over again.

      • wordpress3zzz - Jul 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        are you talking about players or front office? Players will all be flushed after next season, it’s a clean slate and brand new team in fall of 2014. If you mean the front office, yeah well, that’s another story. maybe some crazed fan will slip jimmy a cheeseburger so sis can take over.

      • brewdogg - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:24 AM

        I’m talking about everything. Top to bottom. And that includes Kobe. It’s time to realize that he is a selfish, egotistical POS who demands the brightest spotlight at all times. As long as he is suiting up for the Lakers, they won’t win again.

    • loubearkane - Jul 14, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      At a certain point you have to realize it’s too damn long………..

      • dyn0myte - Jul 14, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        I get that a lot…

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 14, 2013 at 7:31 PM

      Yo, papadoc…

      Paragraphs please.

      Separation is good.

      The enter button is your friend.

    • loungefly74 - Jul 15, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      loving the breakdown, man. well done.

      1013-14 will be a tough season…but i will continue to be on board as always.

  6. money2long - Jul 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    if the lakers reach out to nate robinson, they be on track to have guys who can keep up with the athletic guys in the league during their championship runs.

    nate would be a farmar type
    young would be a shannon type
    wesley would be an ariza type

    keep making moves lakers.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 14, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      YES!!! Yes yes yesyesyes dammit Yes! Always on point with your comments. Tell ’em man tell ’em.

  7. coryfor3 - Jul 14, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    I think the Lakers moves are very wise for their situation. They are getting some guys with upside and possibility especially in their system for a year and can see what happens next summer. Could still be unexpectedly competitive this year.

    • dyn0myte - Jul 14, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      “Could still be unexpectedly competitive”

      Maybe they can use that for their promotional campaign this year.

      • money2long - Jul 14, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        have you not been paying attention to the droves of people burying the lakers ? saying they will be, i.e., rubbish ? his statement was for how the public regards the team as a whole going into next season. and he’s right to say that , seeing as how the masses feel LA will not be competitive.

  8. lhollis74 - Jul 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    you know, it doesnt bother me as much when the lakers suck because we have won so many times. Plus, it separates the true laker fans from the bandwagon frontrunners who feel they only should cheer and enjoy our team when we are competing for the title. I love identifying you losers who can take a down year or two in stride with out bashing our management or team and realizing you guys are not REAL LAKER FANS! You guys probably don’t cheer for your own children unless they are winners and are less than fully supportive just for the sake of competing, pathetic! This year I will watch every game as I do a movie, just enjoying the game and accepting the outcome whatever that may be. LAKER HATERS CAN SAY WHAT THEY WANT, BUT OTHER THAN CELTICS, WHO IS MORE ACCOMPLISHED THAN US?

  9. saint1997 - Jul 14, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Lakers are the new Mavs

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 14, 2013 at 7:29 PM


      • saint1997 - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:46 PM

        team that is desperately trying to clear cap room for stars that will never join an ageing superstar but instead fading into obscurity? sounds pretty similar to me

  10. adoombray - Jul 14, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Wes Johnson is a better player than you guys think. He came on strong for the Suns at the end of the year and I would have loved to have kept him over Shannon Brown, who is Laker trash you guys can have back at the end of next season. Wes isn’t really that strong at the 3 in a traditional system, and he doesn’t really have a great perimeter shot, but he has some nifty moves to get to the rim and should flourish on a D’antoni team.

  11. jkaflagg - Jul 14, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Wesley seems a little too young and athletic for the current Lakers…..but may be a good fit for the faster game favored by D’Antoni…..

    A lot of posters seem to look back at the aborted Chris Paul deal as the beginning of the end for the Laker dynasty; indeed, the Laker development process (sign other team’s stars or acquire them in trade for pennies on the dollar) has not served them well of late (Paul, Howard, Nash)…..Still you wonder how/if Paul & Kobe could or would have shared the ball, and how things would have gone with absolutely nobody down low, and how they would have worked with Mike Brown….would have been interesting to see…..

    This year will be also be an interesting one in LA, as Laker management will try to distract long time fans from the almost certain mediocrity on the floor and the continued rise of the cross town Clippers with promises of a return to greatness via free agent acquisitions in 2014….If a fan wants to see the Lakers from the famous courtside seats, this is probably the year to scrounge for them; you have to figure a lot of A-List celebs and power-brokers will take the year off…..

  12. 00maltliquor - Jul 14, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Love it! Good signing. We need guys like this. Young players with potential that could either be boom or bust. Especially on a one year, 1 mill. contract. Love it.

    He’ll have a breakthrough year this season. Watch.

  13. ambitoos - Jul 14, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    All those fans that are coming down on Jim Buss are in the wrong. Jerry was a great owner but you people have to give Jim time to adjust. I have all the confidence in the world that Jim will build a winner with Mitch leading the way. Next year they start to rebuild with younger players that they really need. Be patient and have faith. I’ve been a fan since the 60’s and I’ve seen all the ups and downs for years. They will be champions again one day but we as fans have to be patient. Just be glad that your not a Padres fan.

    • dyn0myte - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      Perhaps it’s time we discussed a river in Egypt…

  14. albertmn - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    I know that they signed him for the minimum, so they can’t pay him less. But, they overpaid. Wes is horrible. There had to be someone better to spend the money on. Johnson has gotten many chances and just isn’t a quality NBA player.

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