Why Lakers Can’t Sign Stanley Johnson After Being Waived By Jazz
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers may have made a mistake when they included Stanley Johnson in their trade package for Patrick Beverley.

Talen Horton-Tucker was the key piece in that deal, but Johnson’s minimum salary was included in order to make the salary cap math work. However, throughout the preseason it’s been apparent that the Lakers could use another big body wing along the perimeter who isn’t afraid of the dirty work that comes with the position.

The Jazz are currently in a rebuild after trading away Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell in separate blockbuster deals to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively. Despite a relatively solid preseason showing, Utah reportedly tried to trade Johnson but could not find any takers. Because they were over the 15-man roster limit, they ended up waiving Johnson and making him a free agent.

Lakers fans immediately clamored for the team to re-sign him but due to a rule in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, they are unable to. The rule dates back to Zydrunas Ilgauskas as he was traded by the Cavaliers to the Washington Wizards and then re-signed with Cleveland after a 30-day waiting period.

The ruled that was put in place states a team cannot sign a player it traded then got cut by the team it traded him to for the rest of that league year.

Johnson has had several stops in his young NBA career, including stints with the Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Pelicans, Toronto Raptors, and the Lakers. While a reunion with L.A. is not looking likely this year, there’s always the possibility the two sides can come to an agreement next offseason. For now, though, it will be interesting to see where Johnson eventually winds up as he’s proven to be an NBA-caliber role player.

Matt Ryan gets final roster spot

The Lakers could’ve signed Johnson if he had joined another team and was waived again, but instead, the team decided to give their last roster spot to Matt Ryan.

Ryan was one of the most impressive players in preseason due to his outside shooting, and he could very well earn rotation minutes given the roster’s lack of spacing.

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