Lakers Rumors: Stanley Johnson, LAL Have 'Mutual Interest' in New ContractJanuary 4, 2022
The Los Angeles Lakers and Stanley Johnson have "mutual interest" in prolonging his tenure with the team, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.
Los Angeles signed Johnson to a 10-day contract on Dec. 24. In five games, he has averaged 6.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 25.2 minutes on the floor.
Head coach Frank Vogel was complimentary toward the 25-year-old and signaled a desire to keep him within the squad:
Michael J. Duarte @michaeljduarte
"We still hope to have him back for some more games." -- Frank Vogel on Stanley Johnson. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lakers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Lakers</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LakeSHow?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LakeSHow</a>
The Lakers' step backward on defense is one reason why they find themselves seventh in the Western Conference at 19-19. They were first in defensive rating in 2020-21 (106.8) and now rank 14th (108.4).
Johnson has already earned six steals with L.A., and Vogel explained how the 6'6" forward can be a valuable help defender against smaller guards. He has shown why he can carve out a role in the rotation going forward.
By waiting to table another 10-day contract or a prorated offer for the remainder of the season, the Lakers risk having a different team swoop in to sign him.
Delaying a decision would, however, somewhat lessen the impact on the luxury tax for a prorated deal. Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus highlighted another reason why a few days can make a big difference because of NBA roster rules:
Eric Pincus @EricPincus
This is an often asked misconception. Roster spots are extremely valuable going into the Feb 10 trade deadline. LAL just opened a spot via trade - waiting 2 days to keep Stanley Johnson (assuming) flexible on a pair of 10-days could make necessary room for a trade <a href="https://t.co/b2wYek8i9t">https://t.co/b2wYek8i9t</a>
General manager Rob Pelinka or another member of the front office has presumably reached out to Johnson or his representatives to say the team wants him to return.
That could allow the two sides to achieve a resolution that's mutually beneficial.