NBA Rumors: Lakers Expected To Keep Defensive Bulldog

In a move that should not come as a surprise to anyone, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to pick up the $2.3M team option on defensive-minded forward Stanley Johnson. 

The 26-year-old was one of the few bright spots of the Lakers season, after he was brought in on a hardship exception contract on Christmas Eve. It was the gift that kept on giving for LA the rest of the season, as he brought his energy and intensity to the defensive side of the ball every time he stepped on the court, and became a fan favorite.

After the expiration of a couple of 10-day contracts, the Lakers signed him to a two-year deal with a team option for 2022-23. It was a no-brainer for the team to pick up the option. 

New head coach Darvin Ham has expressed the importance of having role players like Johnson around. At his introductory news conference, he said he expects accountability, toughness, sacrifice and togetherness. Stanley Johnson checks all of those boxes.

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