Wesley Johnson grew tired of the individualism on the Lakers last season and sought a change this summer, as Janis Carr of the Orange County Register details. Johnson signed with the Clippers, citing the persistence of the front office that took a similar tack in its pursuit of Josh Smith, and the swingman praised the clear set of expectations that Doc Rivers has laid out for him, contrasting it to what he thought was a disjointed Lakers offense, Carr observes.
“You would go out there and want to play the right way, but everyone wanted to prove themselves,” Johnson said, according to Carr. “So nobody really knew what was going on. Nobody ever knew, so it was hard for anyone to come in and get into a good rhythm or flow. Nobody was playing together.”
See more from the Pacific Division:
- Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic finds the sudden change of heart from Markieff Morris hard to believe, but Morris and Suns officials recently engaged in a lengthy conversation and expressed a mutual desire to make their partnership work, sources tell Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. “I’m excited. Happy to be back. Happy to be with my team,” Morris told Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link).
- Harrison Barnes would have been pleased to sign for $10MM a year as of this past June, a source told Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group. The former seventh overall pick more recently turned down a four-year, $64MM offer from the Warriors, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported.
- Darren Collison signed with the Kings in 2014 chiefly so he could start, but he’s a long shot to remain the team’s starter this season with new signee Rajon Rondo aboard, as Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee examines. Collison wants to start, but he’s not about to rock the boat, either, Voisin writes.
- Robert Upshaw was red-flagged over concerns about the health of his heart during predraft workouts, and though doctors eventually cleared him, he believes the time he had to step away from draft prep set him back, as he explains to Pincus, who writes in a piece for the Los Angeles Times. Upshaw went undrafted and signed a partially guaranteed minimum-salary deal with the Lakers. “It was zero basketball activity, zero activity,” Upshaw said. “It’s hard to get in shape and it’s easy to get out of shape. I got out of shape really fast, it was a month’s time where I was just barely doing anything.”
- The contracts that Juwan Staten and Tony Mitchell signed with the Warriors are non-guaranteed for the minimum salary and cover only one season, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Ben Gordon‘s full contract details are still unclear, but half of his salary becomes guaranteed if he sticks for opening night, according to former Nets executive Bobby Marks (on Twitter).