The NBA’s coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has offered current and former Los Angeles Lakers players plenty of opportunities to either return to the league or play a bigger role on other teams during the 2021-22 season.
Many of them ended up on the Chicago Bulls. Alfonzo McKinnie signed a 10-day contract with the Bulls when the virus sidelined the majority of the team’s roster earlier in December.
On Dec. 26, Chicago upgraded his deal to a standard NBA contract, tying him down until the end of the season.
Mac McClung is yet to make an appearance for the Bulls after signing his 10-day contract. Meanwhile, Stanley Johnson went from signing for the South Bay Lakers in November to penning a 10-day deal with the Bulls in December, to eventually putting up a spectacular debut for the main Lakers team in a Christmas Day loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Hawks are planning to sign G/F Chaundee Brown to a 10-day hardship deal, sources tell ESPN. He’s expected to sign on Monday.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 26, 2021
Brown featured in two games for the Lakers this season, averaging 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 points over 10.5 minutes on the floor.
The Lakers themselves have brought back two of their former players this year, signing Isaiah Thomas and Jemerrio Jones to 10-day contracts.
Meanwhile, L.A. penned Avery Bradley to a non-guaranteed deal just before the campaign’s tip-off.
David Fizdale praises forward’s Johnson after Lakers debut
Johnson scored seven points in over 27 minutes against the Nets, putting on an impressive defensive performance that helped the Lakers overcome a 23-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
The Purple and Gold eventually lost the game, but the forward’s effort on Thursday still earned him hefty praise from acting head coach David Fizdale.
“Some incredible efforts being made,” Fizdale said of the Lakers’ fourth-quarter rally. “Stanley Johnson was fantastic on [James Harden]. For a guy just getting moved up, that’s pretty big time.”
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