The Los Angeles Lakers continued rounding out their roster by bringing back three members of last year's dismal 27-55 squad — swingman Xavier Henry, forward Wesley Johnson and prospective stretch four Ryan Kelly. (Start planning the parade.)
Henry received a one-year, $1 million deal, according to Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski. So did Johnson, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard. (They may well both be receiving the $981,084 minimum salary for four-year players, with the reports just rounding the salaries up.) Kelly — who was a restricted free agent, unlike Henry and Johnson, and whose agreement was first reported by Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times — got a two-year deal worth just under $3.4 million, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, suggesting that his salary comes out of the Lakers' last remaining cap exception, the "room mid-level exception," which is worth $2.732 million for the coming season.
Johnson made 79 appearances, including 62 starts, for Mike D'Antoni last season, sopping up the lion's share of L.A.'s minutes at the small forward spot and turning in the most productive season of his NBA career in the most wide-open opportunity since joining the Minnesota Timberwolves as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2010 draft. That, however, isn't saying much — he chipped in 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 28.4 minutes per game, shooting just 42.5 percent from the floor and getting roundly outproduced at multiple positions, according to 82games.com's charting.
There were some sunny spots. The former Syracuse star shot a career-best 36.9 percent from long distance, including a 41.2 percent mark on spot-up opportunities, according to Synergy Sports Technology's game-charting. He used his long arms and athleticism to contribute a neat 2.1 combined steals and blocks per game, and to beat the Portland Trail Blazers on an alley-oop off an inbounds pass. At this stage, though, the 27-year-old's most commendable virtue seems to be keeping the Lakers from starting $21.5 million teammate Nick Young at the three spot. (Which is, to be fair, pretty important.)
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