Byron Scott: Wes Johnson Can Be One Of The NBA’s ‘Best’ Defenders

Wesley-Johnson-center-Xavier-Henry-and-the-rest-of-the-Lakers-bench-opened-the-season-in-style.-Jeff-Gross-Getty-Images

The small forward position has been a big question mark for the Los Angeles Lakers without much depth at the three spot. All signs currently point to Wesley Johnson being the starter with the regular season only a few weeks away.

Although Johnson failed to make an impression in his first season with the Lakers, the veteran forward has caught the eye of new head coach Byron Scott in training camp. Scott believes Johnson will be a force on the defensive end of the floor this season saying the following about the forward, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:

With Scott emphasizing defense heading into next season, Johnson will have an opportunity to have a bounce back year with his play on that end of the basketball floor. Johnson is already off to a good start with Scott and teammate Kobe Bryant praising the veteran forward for his play in scrimmages, but whether that carries over into the regular season remains to be seen.

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Now that Young will miss a considerable amount of time rehabbing from surgery on his right thumb, Johnson will get more playing time. Kobe and rookie Jordan Clarkson will share some minutes at small forward, but Johnson will be the starter and Scott’s first option at the three spot.

Johnson’s athletic ability and length gives him the tools to be a solid defender. Unfortunately, the former lottery pick hasn’t lived up to expectations in his four-year career. This season will be a make-or-break for Johnson as he tries to prove his worth in his second year with the Lakers.

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Lakers Practice: Kobe Bryant Reacts To Nick Young’s Injury


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