Stanley Johnson will soon live through another moment of truth, as the forward’s second 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers is coming to an end.
Johnson penned the deal on Jan. 6, meaning it will expire after Saturday’s game with the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers could sign the 25-year-old forward to a permanent deal until the end of the season or offer him one more 10-day contract before making a final decision on his future with L.A.
Johnson hopes he’s proved his value to the team and will be able to continue representing the Purple and Gold.
“Hopefully I’ve shown that I can be consistent, a good teammate, bring energy to the court, and just be a good professional overall,” he said. “Obviously the goal is to get on the team and obviously stick long-term. That’s a goal of mine, if it happens it happens, I’ll be very excited about it.
“I think the team is gonna be really, really solid and I’ve really enjoyed myself while I’ve been here honestly. And we’ll kind of go from there, like we have a game tomorrow, I’ll deal with the game, and then after the game we can deal with that as well when it comes.”
Johnson averaged 4.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 1.0 steals in his last three games for the Lakers, shooting 2-for-5 (40%) from downtown. However, he’s averaged just 14.8 minutes per game, down from the 25.1 he clocked in during his first stint with the team.
The former lottery pick added his time in L.A. has been “an amazing opportunity,” reiterating it has been a childhood dream come true for the Southern California native.
“I’ve learned a lot as an athlete watching Hall of Famers at work every day,” Johnson said. “Obviously coming up where I come from out here, you want to obviously play for the Lakers at some point in time and getting a chance to not only do it, but do it on some of the best days you could possibly do it on which was Christmas Day and stuff like that and being able to start has been a good experience for me.
“Obviously I’m greedy and I want to be able to finish the season and kind of finish what I started, but it’s been an amazing experience from everybody who I’ve met so far and it’s worked well for me and I’ve learned a lot as an athlete and I’ve enjoyed myself as a man.”
Johnson: I don’t think my performance surprised Lakers
Johnson thinks he’s given the Lakers what they hoped he would bring in upon signing, pointing out his history with the organization.
“I think a lot of people in this organization have known me so long, I think they know exactly who I am and what I can and can’t do,” the forward said, asked about the areas of his play he might have surprised L.A. with.
“Rob Pelinka, he’s been around basketball long enough, I don’t think I’m surprising him here. So I’m not sure if that answers your question and I’m not trying to dodge the question either, but I don’t think anybody doesn’t know what I can and cannot do here so far.”
Johnson featured in six games for the South Bay Lakers whose head coach, Miles Simon, also serves as Frank Vogel’s assistant.
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