The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly re-signed Wesley Johnson to a one-year deal worth $1 million, per ESPN.com's Chris Broussard:
Source: Lakers sign Wesley Johnson to 1 year, $1 million deal— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 19, 2014
Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times and Basketball Insiders reported that the Lakers had renounced the rights to Johnson, among a few others, but that it was done only to shrink the salary-cap hit:
Lakers have renounced the rights to Kent Bazemore, Xavier Henry and Wes Johnson - as fully expected - even if they bring X or Wes back— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) July 19, 2014
Xavier Henry and Wesley Johnson take up $915k of Lakers salary cap - renouncing dips the cap hold to $507k each— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) July 19, 2014
Once Lakers go over the cap - paying Swaggy - then the Lakers can sign Henry and Wes etc. for min— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) July 19, 2014
Johnson played 79 games for the Lakers last year, making 62 starts and averaging 9.1 points a game. Although the 27-year-old's performances were somewhat erratic, he did set career highs in field-goal percentage (.425) and three-point percentage (.369). His player efficiency rating of 11.0 was also a career best.
In addition to his offensive contributions, Johnson helped out on the defensive side, an area in which Los Angeles needed all the help it could get.
"Early, he was up and down," then-head coach Mike D'Antoni said of Johnson in March, per Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. "He’d play some great games and he’d go AWOL for about a month. Lately, it’s been very good."
"I want to come back," said Johnson. "Hopefully they feel the same way. I’ll have to continue to prove myself and show I can play hard."
Although the forward does bring some value to the team, most fans will see this as another underwhelming move in an offseason full of them for the Lakers.
Los Angeles seemingly hitched its wagons to luring a marquee free agent like LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, and when that didn't happen, the team was left scrambling somewhat. The Lakers have re-signed Nick Young and Jordan Hill, traded for Jeremy Lin and picked up Carlos Boozer off amnesty waivers, per ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst.
You can likely throw Johnson into the mix now.
It looks as if another season of discontent is in store for the Lakers.
Note: All stats are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.