Stanley Johnson played his way into being invaluable to the Lakers. He averages 6.4 points and a couple of rebounds a game, but he’s doing so while being an efficient shooter (34.4% from 3), playing solid defense, and fitting in well next to LeBron James. The bottom line is that the Lakers outscore opponents by 5.5 points per 100 possessions when he is on the court and get outscored by 1.9 when he is on the bench.
As expected, the Lakers are signing him for the rest of this season, and they have a team option to bring him back next season, a story broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Forward Stanley Johnson has agreed to a new two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Johnson’s final 10-day contract expires Wednesday, but his contagious defense, energy and play earn him a guaranteed rest of the year.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 26, 2022
Johnson came in at Christmas with the Lakers in desperation mode to fill out the roster as COVID and injuries hit. The Lakers traded Rajon Rondo in a three-team deal to open up a roster spot, one they had planned to use in a trade to bring someone else in, but Johnson’s play earned him that spot.
How well Johnson plays off Lebron and Russell Westbrook has been the key to his success in Los Angeles. Since he arrived, Johnson has been part of the Lakers’ most-used lineup (LeBron, Westbrook, Avery Bradley, Malik Monk and Johnson), a lineup with a +12.7 net rating.