Due to a litany of injuries as well as an early-season coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak across the league, the Los Angeles Lakers had to sign a number of different players to help them get through the season. While many came and went on short contracts, one who stuck around for the remainder of the year was Stanley Johnson.
A lottery pick of the Detroit Pistons in 2015, Johnson is a Southern California native, being born in Los Angeles and attending Mater Dei High School. After making an immediate impact with the Lakers on 10-day contracts, Johnson would sign him to a two-year contract, playing an important role as one of the team’s few reliable defenders.
Johnson was traded, however, going to the Utah Jazz along with Talen Horton-Tucker in exchange for point guard Patrick Beverley. Always a class act on and off the court, Johnson would take to his Twitter page to thank the Lakers fans and organization for making his time in purple and gold special:
#LakerNation thank you for taking care of one of your own. An experience that you guys made too much fun. My family, friends and I thank you for that. Growing up here it’s court and team you imagine that the NBA is.
Always Love 💜💛💜💛💜
— 7even (@iAmSJ) August 26, 2022
Johnson was truly one of the few bright spots for the Lakers last season as he immediately became one of the team’s most important players, starting 27 of the 48 games he played with the franchise. Johnson shot a career-high 46.6% from the field last year and his energy and effort were infectious throughout the roster.
Coincidentally, Johnson’s most memorable moment came at the expense of his new team. In just his 10th game with the Lakers, Johnson would be the driving force of the team’s comeback victory over the Utah Jazz, scoring 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and regularly attacking and scoring on three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.
Though his time with the Lakers wasn’t a long one, Johnson was still able to live out a dream as a hometown kid suiting up and making an impact for his favorite team.
Lakers’ target Cam Reddish refutes report he demanded trade from Knicks
Even after this trade, the Lakers may not be done making moves before the season begins. One player they have been linked to is New York Knicks wing Cam Reddish, who reportedly demanded a trade out of New York.
But Reddish quickly refuted that rumor and even though he could still be dealt away, perhaps to the Lakers, he made it clear that he is not forcing his way away from the Knicks.
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