Lakers Re-Sign Defensive Spark

Most "hardship exception" replacement players aren't expected to play a big role upon their emergency insertion into a team's lineup. But Stanley Johnson made a huge impact defensively for the LA Lakers right off the jump, and that has now won him a standard 10-day contract.

Johnson's on-ball defense, toughness and energy at that end of the court made an immediate impact for the Lakers, as he carved out a key spot in the rotation. That continued even after the missing health and safety protocol players returned to the lineup. 

Even though his hardship exception 10-day expired on Monday, the team waited until today so that they could sign him to a standard 10-day rather than the 'emergency' kind. This saves the team money and increases roster flexibility. 

Johnson is still only 25, and has shown a strong defensive skill-set in his 6+ years in the league, despite bouncing around from team to team in recent years. 

He grew up in Southern California and was a Laker fan as a kid. “When I would think about playing basketball in the NBA, I’d always view myself in a Laker jersey,” Johnson told The Athletic's Jovan Buha. 

His dream-come-true wearing the purple-and-gold will continue at least another ten days, and quite likely much longer. 

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports