The Los Angeles Lakers are rounding out their roster for the 2013-2014 NBA season. Over the weekend, L.A. signed Wesley Johnson from the Phoenix Suns.
Johnson will make $916,099 next year on a minimum-salary contract. In three years in the pros, the Syracuse product has failed to live up to his status as the fourth overall pick in the NBA Draft. He’s never averaged more than nine points and three rebounds per game, even playing for bad teams with not a lot of star power. With the Lakers, though, he likely won’t be asked to be much more than a role player.
The signing of Johnson is one of three that the Lakers have made this offseason. On Thursday, Nick Young left the Philadelphia 76ers to play for Los Angeles. The guard averaged 10.6 points on 41.3 shooting from the field. That move came after the club used their mid-level exception to sign Chris Kaman.
The Lakers will be limited in what they can do for the rest of the summer. Even after using their amnesty clause on Metta World Peace, L.A. is well over the salary cap. They can only sign free agents by offering the league minimum salary.
According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, the Lakers have expressed interest in signing Nate Robinson. The guard is looking to make more than the minimum salary and it appears the Denver Nuggets may be willing to offer him a bigger contract. If he’s looking to play in bigger market, though, L.A. might not be a bad landing spot for Robinson. He could get a chance to get a lot of minutes with Steve Nash entering his 18th season and Kobe Bryant recovering from a serious injury.
Ronnie Brewer could also be on the Lakers’ radar. After losing World Peace, the team is in need of a good wing defender. Brewer has never been heralded as a strong offensive player, failing to average more than seven points per game in the past four years. Signing an offensive-minded player like Young, however, might make it more feasible to have a player like Brewer on their roster.
Other than Brewer, and possibly Robinson, though, there aren’t many options for the Lakers. The team seems content to go to war with their current roster, and isn’t looking to trade Pau Gasol. If their current players can’t get the job done, L.A. should be able to vastly improve in the 2014 free agency period.