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Rumor: Lakers, Clippers expected to check in on Tyler Johnson

Tyler Johnson

The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are “expected to check in” on Tyler Johnson, according to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix. Johnson was waived by the Phoenix Suns this week, and there is likely to be a market for Johnson, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

Johnson, 27, is in the final year of a four-year, $50 million deal he signed with the Miami Heat in that wild spending spree of 2016—a deal that even surprised him. The undrafted guard out of Fresno State put up a respectable 14.9 points per 36 minutes on nearly 37% 3-point shooting during his time in South Beach before being dealt to Phoenix in February 2019.

Minor injuries and shooting slumps hindered the combo guard’s tenure with the Suns—he was shooting under 29% from 3 this season in 16.6 minutes per game. Phoenix GM James Jones said the team wants to clear minutes for younger guys after they were unable to deal Johnson at the deadline.

It’s no secret that the Clippers and Lakers are in the market for backcourt depth, with the Lakers feeling particularly thirsty for playmaking help after striking out at the trade deadline. They’re reportedly considering fellow score-first guards like JR Smith, and (gulp) Dion Waiters, and could look at Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson if he is bought out—though the Clippers seem like the likelier destination. Both Staples Center tenants had been competing for Darren Collison’s services, but the point guard will remain retired.

It’s hard to see Tyler Johnson (or any of these options) swinging a playoff series, but the L.A. squads could at least provide a welcome change of scenery.