The Lakers officially signed forward Wesley Johnson to a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum worth $1 million.
Johnson, 26, was the fourth pick in the 2010 NBA Draft and averaged eight points in 19.1 minutes last season with Phoenix.
“Wesley is a young, athletic player who runs the floor well and is an excellent defender,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “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.”
It’s highly likely the Lakers acquired Johnson because of Kobe Bryant’s influence. Johnson and Bryant share the same agent in Rob Pelinka and had worked out privately together in earlier seasons.
Johnson spent his first two college years at Iowa State (2006-08) before transferring to Syracuse, where he helped the Orange to a 30-5 record in 2009-10 and was named a First Team All-American. The 6-7 forward won Big East Player of the Year honors after averaging 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists in his one season at Syracuse.
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