Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Team to check in on Tyler Johnson

(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Recent Los Angeles Lakers rumors involve another potential buyout candidate to sign in Tyler Johnson.

There were plenty of Los Angeles Lakers rumors heading into the NBA Trade Deadline last week. Anyone who thought that those Lakers rumors would slow down would be mistaken. If anything they are even louder now.

The Lakers didn’t make a trade prior to the deadline. Instead, they were expected to be active on the buyout market. Thus far, it has been a lot of smoke without much substance.

The player the Lakers were connected to the most was Darren Collison, who was retired. The team even hosted him at a game last week, putting the fullcourt press on him. Unfortunately, that signing will not be happening.

Collison has decided that he will not be coming out of retirement to join the team. The timing was not right for him. Given how many discussions there were about Collison coming to the team, and how good of a fit he would have been, it hurts the Lakers that he will remain retired.

With Collison no longer an option, the Lakers have been forced to look elsewhere on the buyout market. Two names that have come up are J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters.  Smith has not played in an NBA game since November of 2018, while Waiters was dealt at the deadline by the Miami Heat to the Memphis Grizzlies are part of the Andre Iguodala deal.

Waiters was subsequently released and has had his own issues this season. He was been suspended three times by Miami for conduct detrimental to the team, including an incident he had on a flight where he reportedly overdosed on marijuana gummies.

Now, we can add another name into the backcourt mix; Tyler Johnson.

Johnson was waived by the Phoenix Suns after they were unable to find a trade partner for him at the deadline.

Johnson found himself out of the rotation for a large portion of the 2019-20 season. After appearing in each of the first 18 games in the season, Johnson has played in only 13 of the next 25.

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As a result, Johnson’s stats aren’t anything to write home about. He is averaging only 5.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He is struggling with shooting the ball this season, making only 28.9 percent of his 3-point attempts and 38 percent overall. However, he is a career 43 percent shooter overall and 35.8 percent from the 3-point line.

If the Lakers do in fact sign Johnson, they would be hoping that he can return to the form he showed during his time with the Heat. The Fresno State product was a solid combo guard in Miami, averaging 11 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

In addition to the Lakers, the LA Clippers, to the surprise of no one, are also expected to check in on him. If the Lakers or Clippers are where Johnson wants to be is anyone’s guess.

At 27 years old, he could opt to sign with a team that would present more opportunities for him to get playing time to improve his stock heading into free agency.

Neither the Lakers or Clippers offer Johnson a path to much playing time, as both teams have very crowded backcourts that could get even more crowded depending on how the buyout market shakes out.

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For now, the Lakers are in wait and see mode as they have one more game, against the Denver Nuggets, before having some time off during the All-Star break.