NBA rumors: Stanley Johnson headed back to Lakers

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Dave McMenamin: The Lakers will likely sign small ball big man Stanley Johnson to a 10-day contract on Thursday, league sources told ESPN. Johnson, 25, recently completed a 10-day hardship exemption contract with LAL and the SoCal native made an impact with his on-ball defense and toughness
Stanley Johnson (6.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg) started three games for the Lakers on a 10-day contract via hardship waiver, making a splash as a defensive specialist at 6-foot-6. The Fullerton native’s deal, however, expired on Monday along with fellow SoCal native Darren Collison (who was inactive for his final two Laker games) and neither attended the team’s Monday practice. While acknowledging the decision on the roster spot would fall to General Manager Rob Pelinka and advisor Kurt Rambis, Vogel tipped his hand by saying, “Stanley Johnson has potentially become a factor for us.” Vogel followed up by saying he hoped Johnson would join the team for a few more games – the Lakers could sign him for the rest of the season, or sign him to a new 10-day contract beginning Wednesday.
The Lakers opened up a 15th roster spot Friday, trading Rajon Rondo to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Denzel Valentine, who has a partially guaranteed contract and is expected to be waived. Johnson is now in competition with veteran point guard Darren Collison, who’s also on a 10-day hardship exemption contract, for the final roster spot. “I know if I do my job to the best of my ability, I think I can make it hard for (Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka),” Johnson said. “So that’s what I’m focused on: doing my job to the best of my ability and winning some of these games here.”
“Stanley is huge in what we’re trying to do,” said David Fizdale, the Lakers’ assistant coach who has recently served as acting head coach with Frank Vogel sidelined in health and safety protocols. “With his motor and with his defensive intensity and prowess, we can really use that right now.” Johnson, who found himself out of the league at the beginning of the season, isn’t just looking to help the Lakers right now. He believes he can help them for the rest of this season. “You get here and you’re like, ‘How do I figure out how to stay here?’ type of thing,” Johnson said.
One option for that spot, former Santa Ana Mater Dei High star Stanley Johnson, continued to play well, joining James in the starting lineup and scoring 10 points before fouling out. “He’s picked up our system really fast,” James said. “ ... And he brought in some toughness.”
Harrison Faigen: LeBron James says that Stanley Johnson has given the Lakers "toughness at the wing position" and has fit in seamlessly because he had a "cheat sheet" from playing with the South Bay Lakers.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Lakers are planning to sign Darren Collison and Stanley Johnson to 10-day hardship deals, sources tell ESPN. The Lakers are hopeful they'll be available for the Christmas Day game vs. Brooklyn.
Shams Charania: The Chicago Bulls are signing forward Stanley Johnson out of NBA G League’s South Bay Lakers via hardship exemption, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Johnson went to training camp with the Bulls.
KC Johnson: Can confirm the Bulls are signing Stanley Johnson via a hardship exception, per source, which @Shams Charania had 1st. Johnson may not join team until Miami.
KC Johnson: Bulls make official the Stanley Johnson, Alize Johnson and Matt Thomas signings and also announce they signed Tyler Cook and Ethan Thompson. Cook is a 6-8 F with 45 games of NBA experience. Thompson is a 6-5 G from Oregon St. who played for Bulls summer league squad.
Michael Scotto: In other news regarding the Nets, it seems the team could have some interest in former lottery pick Stanley Johnson. He’s been around team members and staff out in Southern California. He’s working out with those guys, HoopsHype has learned.
Bobby Marks: Monday deadline for player options Anthony Davis: $28.8M DeMar DeRozan: $27.7M Mike Conley Jr. : $34.5M Evan Fournier: $17.0M Robin Lopez : $5.0M Nic Batum: $27.1M Tony Snell: $12.2M Stanley Johnson: $3.8M Wesley Matthews : $2.7M My guess is we go 7/9 on opt-in
Shams Charania: Sources: The Pelicans have declined to extend a qualifying offer to forward Stanley Johnson, making him an unrestricted free agent. Johnson, 23, is a strong defender and will receive interest from several teams. Allows Pelicans to now have upwards of $28M in open space.
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Darvin Ham has made strongest impression in Lakers' coaching search

The Lakers appear poised to make a decision on their coaching position soon, with Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts the finalists for the job that became vacant when Frank Vogel was fired at season’s end. But as the final round of interviews is set, sources tell The Athletic that Ham appears to have made the strongest impression yet.
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In terms of the Lakers’ preferences, sources say team officials have prioritized a coach who can command respect and authority from the locker room and who has a strong enough presence and voice to manage the varying roles and relationships across the roster. Those characteristics bode well for Ham’s candidacy. Throughout assistant coaching stops with the Lakers, Hawks and Bucks, Ham has been known for his no-nonsense style and ability to resonate with his players — attributes that have stood out in his communication with the Lakers thus far as well, sources said.