Lakers sign forward Wesley Johnson

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent forward Wesley Johnson, it was announced today.

Johnson has had a disappointing to start to his NBA career, but he’ll have another chance to prove himself now with the Lakers.

“Wesley is a young, athletic player who runs the floor well and is an excellent defender,” said Kupchak.  “He’s a developing player who we think could become a good NBA player for years to come.  He’s also a great kid and we’re happy to add him to our team.”

Originally selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Johnson has appeared in 194 career games (148 starts), averaging 7.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 23.1 minutes as a member of the Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns.

A three-year NBA veteran, Johnson averaged a career-high 9.0 points during his rookie season with Minnesota, ranking sixth among rookies in scoring and third in three-point accuracy (35.6 percent).  In two seasons with the Timberwolves, Johnson averaged 7.7 points and 2.9 rebounds in 24.6 minutes.  Most recently, Johnson appeared in 50 games (21 starts) with the Phoenix Suns, averaging 8.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 19.1 minutes.

Johnson spent his first two collegiate seasons at Iowa State (2006-08) before transferring to Syracuse, where he helped the Orange to a 30-5 record in 2009-10 and was named a First Team All-American.  The 6-7 forward averaged 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists in his one season at Syracuse, being named Big East Player of the Year and a finalist for the Naismith, John Wooden and Oscar Robertson national player of the year awards.