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Lakers season preview: Wesley Johnson profile

How will take two of Wesley Johnson's time in Los Angeles play out?

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sport


Name: Wesley Johnson

Season: 5th season (2nd with Lakers)

Role: Only true small forward on the roster, most athletic player in the wings, transition dunk thunderer, two-way player.

The Good: Wesley Johnson is a very good spot-up three-point shooter, connecting on over 40 percent of his attempts, according to Syngery Sports Technology. The Lakers will need floor spacers and he should deliver in that area. He's also the most athletic player in the Lakers' wing rotation, which is valuable on both ends of the floor. He has great size and proved capable of using it to erase attempts around the rim last season. Wesley gives the Lakers a player they can at least throw at the opponents' best wing player.

Lakers season preview

The Bad: He can't create his own shot, is too timid on the court at times and can be invisible on the court. He doesn't put his identity on every game, often becoming completely unnoticeable and irrelevant. Wesley is a poor mid-range shooter, and while the Lakers will use him as a defensive stopper, he's nowhere near the lockdown defender the team needs.

The Could-Be: Johnson could have a very good year with more players around him and less responsibility. We'll have to see how the Lakers' offense operates, but he could be an important two-way player if he maintains the solid three-point shooting he showed last season and continues developing his defensive chops. Don't expect him to have a sudden breakthrough, though.

The Hope-Not: Hopefully his production and efficiency weren't an illusion cast by the wizard known as Mike D'Antoni. Wesley had a good year with the Lakers and at the veteran's minimum is a solid signing. It'd be very disappointing if he regresses significantly in his second go 'round

The Likely: He may not have the same volume of production, but he should still be a solid player for the Lakers. He's very good at finishing around the rim, plays within himself, and won't tank possessions away with isolation attempts. A year similar to his first with the Lakers is enough to call it a success for both Wesley and the purple and gold, and that's probably where his season is headed.

What It Means: If Wesley can maintain the play he showed last season it means the Lakers found a minimum-level player they can continue to incorporate in their plans. The Lakers are short on young talent, and Wesley is still just 27. Even if he plays slightly above the career-best bar he set last season, though, it's unlikely to be significant enough of an impact to push the Lakers that far up the standings.

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