The Los Angeles Lakers have made a lot of mistakes after winning the NBA Championship in 2020. In fact, there is a decent list of moves that Rob Pelinka has made that could warrant him getting fired. Instead, he got a contract extension.
One move that did not seem like a mistake at the time was trading for Patrick Beverley this past summer. While Beverley has been pretty horrible for the Lakers, the trade still makes sense in hindsight. Talen Horton-Tucker has been the same old THT that he was in LA and the Lakers got more flexibility by getting a one-year contract in return for two. That helps their chances at making a trade this season.
However, there was one part of the trade that made very little sense at the time. Los Angeles had to include an extra contract in the deal and chose to send Stanley Johnson. While he has his flaws, Johnson is a defensive wing and was on a team that lacked defense and wing depth. They traded from an area of weakness.
Utah waived Johnson before the 2022-23 season began and because the Lakers were the ones to trade him, they could not re-acquire him in the same season unless another team brought him in first and eventually traded him or released him.
Stanley Johnson has finally found a new home after the Lakers as he signed a G League deal with the Miami Heat.
Stanley Johnson finally found a new team as he signed a G League deal with the Miami Heat. However, since it is not a standard NBA contract, he still would not be able to join the Lakers. He would have to sign a standard deal with Miami and then eventually be let go to return to LA.
Knowing how the Heat operates, the Lakers will never get that chance. If Johnson plays well in the G League then he very well could get a crack on a Miami team that has struggled this season and is rather thin.
If three is any team in the league that is going to get the most out of Johnson it is the Miami Heat. There is no better team in the league at elevating players. If that happens with Johnson they are not going to give the Lakers the opportunity to bring him back.
The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to make a trade that does not include Russell Westbrook. The New York Knicks have the best offer to make to LA.
Regardless, Los Angeles should have never included Johnson in that trade to begin with. He might not be the most dynamic role player in the league but the Lakers were not in a position to trade out of an area of weakness.