NBA Rumor: Stanley Johnson Free Agency

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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.
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January 16, 2022 | 12:36 pm EST Update
How would you describe your game? Your dominance at the end of the Hapoel game as a 4 was impressive, your controlled the game. It was like that for 40 minutes. In this respect, it is possible to watch you at much higher levels. How do you see the possibility of returning to the NBA? Bonzie Colson: It has been my target since I came here. That’s my goal and also having played in Europe will help me when I get there. Playing in the NBA is easier than playing in Europe. There is more space. The three-second rule doesn’t exist here. There are many different rules. That’s why players are constantly changing places. Scoring is easier in the NBA. Because first of all, much more space is opening up. Also here are more systems. Every country has a system. A running game is being played in Spain. There is a game based on the physical struggle in Turkey. Every country has a different style of basketball. The NBA is opening up. There is a system, but you can’t be as aggressive as here. In Europe, you can be aggressive, push, hit, do a lot of things, but in the NBA you can’t do that. That’s why some of the players who play here look good there.
Traveling to Europe after your Bucks career… At what point did you decide it’s (the NBA) not working anymore? Bonzie Colson: I wouldn’t say it wasn’t working anymore. I was young, well I’m still young, so I decided I could do a year overseas and then come back (to the NBA). Scouts are still looking overseas, I could try something new. Then COVID hit, so I knew I was kind of in-between Europe and the NBA. So far has been a great opportunity. My goal is still to get back to the NBA for sure but I think it was great to do that and I’ve been doing well.
The National Basketball Association is offering virtual courtside seats on Meta’s $299 Oculus Quest 2 devices. The headsets were one of the most popular Christmas gifts in 2021, showing that people seem to be more willing than ever to give virtual reality a try. And businesses are trying to keep your eyeballs on their content by creating VR versions of their apps and games. The NBA experience is free and available on Meta’s Horizon Venues platform, which is a free software download for the Oculus headset. People appear as digital avatars, sort of like cartoon versions of their real selves, and watch an NBA game from a courtside perspective. It’s not Jack Nicholson’s Los Angeles Lakers seat at Crypto.com Arena or Spike Lee’s seat at Madison Square Garden, but it almost replicates the real thing.