The Los Angeles Lakers found a hidden gem when they signed Stanley Johnson via a financial hardship exemption in late December.
The former first-round pick bounced back in the league due to his offensive shortcomings, but he quickly impressed the Lakers with his defensive tenacity.
Los Angeles had no choice but to keep him on the team and signed him to another 10-day contract, but with that deal coming to an end, Johnson’s future is once again up in the air.
After Friday’s practice, Johnson expressed his desire to stay with the Lakers after his contract expired.
“Hopefully I’ve shown that I can be consistent, a good teammate, bring energy to the pitch, just be a professional overall,” Johnson said. “Obviously the goal is to make the team and obviously to stay long-term. That’s one of my goals. If it happens, it happens. I’ll be very, very excited about that. I think the team is going to be really, really strong. I’ve really had fun while I’m here, honestly.
Johnson later said that Rob Pelinka and the Lakers organization knew what he could and couldn’t do on the basketball court, but he was taking the situation day by day.
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