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Wesley Johnson to Decline Clippers Player Option: Latest Comments, Reaction

Danny Webster@@DannyWebster21Analyst IIIJune 1, 2016

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 23:  Wesley Johnson #33 of the Los Angeles Clippers dunks the ball against the Golden State Warriors on March 23, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/Getty Images

If Los Angeles Clippers wing Wesley Johnson returns to the team next season, it'll apparently be on a new contract. 

Citing Johnson's agent, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the 28-year-old wants to return to L.A. but plans to decline his $1.2 million player option and will be a free agent on July 1. Johnson played a career-high 80 games in his first season with the Clippers this year.   

The Clippers were Johnson's fourth team since being taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. He spent time with the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers before signing a two-year deal with the Clippers worth $2.3 million last July, per Spotrac.

Johnson started only nine games for Lob City this year, serving as a backup wing behind Paul Pierce, Jeff Green and Luc Mbah a Moute. 

He averaged 6.9 points in 20.8 minutes per game, but Johnson fell out of the Clippers' playoff rotation. His minutes decreased to 12.8 in the first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers, and he averaged only 2.7 points in the team's six-game series loss.

Johnson has not lived up to the expectations that come with being a top-five pick, and he has become a journeyman based on potential and his athleticism. Once a prolific three-point shooter at Syracuse, Johnson is a career 34.4 percent shooter from long range and has shot 40.8 percent from the floor.

If the Clippers decide to bring back Johnson, it shouldn't be for anything more than $4 million a year. He'll command a bit more money because of the salary-cap increase, but he needs to prove he's capable of being a reliable offensive weapon off the bench before he can secure an even bigger deal.

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.