Most of the attention in NBA free agency naturally goes towards the big names. Everyone waits to see what players like LeBron James, Paul George, and DeMarcus Cousins will decide to do, but oftentimes it is the under-the-radar signings that can make a huge difference.
One of those available this summer is Amir Johnson, a 13-year veteran who has spent time with the Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, and most recently the Philadelphia 76ers.
At the outset of free agency, the Lakers were one of three teams that reportedly contacted Johnson about a veteran deal according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News:
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) July 1, 2018
According to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times, the Lakers are due to speak with Johnson on Sunday:
Can confirm reports that Lakers and Clippers both have interest in Amir Johnson, per source. Both teams will talk with him today.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) July 1, 2018
This isn’t a name that will move the needle, but players like Johnson are good to have around. Veterans are needed on teams like the Lakers, that are mostly comprised of young players. Additionally, he’s an active big man who is a good rebounder and solid defender, which the Lakers value.
Though Paul George has decided to remain with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Lakers still have their sights on the other big names. LeBron James’ decision is still looming and the franchise is also expected to meet with big man DeMarcus Cousins as well.
Adding a reliable big man off the bench would be an ideal move if the Lakers were to land one or both of these big names.
Last year with the Sixers Johnson played in 74 games, averaging 4.6 points and 4.5 rebounds.
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