During his two-year stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, Wesley Johnson was one of those players that left a lot of people scratching their heads. Johnson had a lot of potential to become a great player in the NBA with all the physical tools to make it happen but has never put it together and, as a result, has become a journeyman that leaves disappointment wherever he goes.
Although Johnson failed to make any progression last season with the Lakers as a player that started 59 games, the veteran forward was still able to land a substantial role on another team after hitting the free agent market once again. Johnson will now be suiting up for the division rival Los Angeles Clippers this season and had some choice words for how things ended up with the team across the hall last season.
In an interview with Janis Carr of OC Register, Johnson claims his last year with the Lakers was chaos on the basketball floor:
“You would go out there and want to play the right way, but everyone wanted to prove themselves,” Johnson said as the Clippers wrapped up their brief training camp at UC Irvine.
“So nobody really knew what was going on. Nobody ever knew, so it was hard for anyone to come in and get into a good rhythm or flow. Nobody was playing together.”
Johnson, former fourth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, hasn’t been able to stay with one team very long during his NBA career. The 28-year-old has played for three different teams in five seasons with the Clippers becoming his fourth team behind the Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Despite his struggles over the years, Johnson may get the nod as the starting small forward for the Clippers. Head coach Doc Rivers seems open to the idea of both Paul Pierce and Lance Stephenson coming off the bench with Johnson as his starter at the three spot.
Rivers’ reasoning for the move to potentially start Johnson over former All-Stars is anyone’s guess. It’ll likely be a sink-or-swim situation for the Syracuse product once again with a lot more pressure on a team considered to be a legitimate title contender heading into the season.