Stanley Johnson

Warriors Auditioning Veteran Players

The Warriors are continuing to hold workouts with veteran NBA players as they look to fill out their roster, writes Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

In addition to Kent Bazemore and Juan Toscano-Anderson, who were previously identified as working out for the team, Scotto names Dewayne Dedmon, Will BartonJaylen NowellStanley Johnson and Derrick Favors as others who have been given tryouts.

Scotto notes that three of those players have previous experience with the organization. Bazemore signed with Golden State for the 2020/21 season, Toscano-Anderson was part of the 2021/22 title team, and Dedmon played four games for the Warriors during his rookie season.

Barton also has an upcoming workout with the Pelicans, sources tell Scotto. He was a starter with the Nuggets for several seasons, but saw his role diminish last year after being traded to the Wizards and then joining the Raptors as a free agent.

Favors recently worked out for the Trail Blazers, Scotto adds. The 32-year-old big man didn’t appear in any games last season, although he signed a 10-day contract with the Hawks in January.

Nowell averaged a career-high 10.8 PPG for the Timberwolves last season, but he hasn’t found a new team, even though Minnesota was believed to be open to a sign-and-trade deal. A report this summer indicated that the Mavericks had interest in Nowell, but nothing came of it.

Johnson, who has been with five teams over the past four years, averaged 5.8 PPG while shooting 45% from three-point range in 30 games with the Spurs last season.

Golden State has 13 players with guaranteed contracts and is expected to fill one of its two roster openings before the start of the season. The Warriors also have one two-way slot filled and commitments for three Exhibit 10 deals, so they can sign four more players before training camp opens.

Suns To Host Free Agent Workout Wednesday

The Suns are hosting a free agent workout on Wednesday that will include a couple former lottery picks in Stanley Johnson and Jabari Parker, league sources tell Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Guards Chasson Randle and Quinndary Weatherspoon will also participate, Haynes adds (Twitter links).

Phoenix has 10 free agents this offseason, which is tied with the Lakers for the most in the NBA. Checking in on some unrestricted free agents whose rights aren’t held by teams is a logical step for the Suns since they have could have a lot of moving parts. Teams are officially allowed to negotiate with free agents on Friday evening.

Johnson, 27, was the eighth pick of the 2015 draft. The forward has played for the Pistons, Pelicans, Raptors, Lakers and Spurs over his eight-year career. He played 30 games (15.6 MPG) for San Antonio in 2022/23, averaging 5.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.2 APG on .533/.450/.667 shooting.

Parker, 28, is another forward who was the second pick in 2014. He spent his first four seasons with the Bucks, but has bounced around in recent years, suiting up for the Bulls, Wizards, Hawks, Kings and Celtics since 2018. Parker was out of the NBA in ’22/23, last playing for Boston in January 2022.

Randle, 30, is a veteran point guard who went undrafted in 2015 after four years at Stanford. He has played a total of 119 NBA games across parts of four seasons with the Sixers, Knicks, Wizards, Warriors and Magic. His last regular season appearance was with Orlando back in May 2021.

In addition to the Suns, Weatherspoon also has a workout scheduled with the Wizards this week, per Haynes. The 26-year-old former second-round pick played 42 games with the Spurs and Warriors from 2019-22, mostly on two-way deals. He played in China last season.

Celtics Notes: Open Roster Spot, Brown, Griffin, Mazzulla

Most of the best options on the buyout market have gone to other teams, but the Celtics plan to find someone to fill their open roster spot, writes Souichi Terada of MassLive. Whoever gets signed probably won’t play much, but owner Wyc Grousbeck confirms that Boston will have a full roster before the postseason begins.

“We’re looking at buyout candidates and free agents,” he said. “I’d be very surprised if we went into the playoffs with an open roster spot, don’t think that’s going to happen. … All those things are in process, but no, we’re not saving roster spots for a rainy day. We just gotta find the right fit.”

One potential candidate, according to Terada, is veteran swingman Will Barton, who reached a buyout agreement with the Wizards this week. The Celtics may be Barton’s best option to win a ring, although he could seek out a larger role with another team. Terada points to Stanley Johnson and John Wall as other possibilities, along with Juan Toscano-Anderson if he agrees to a buyout with the Jazz.

There’s more from Boston:

  • The Celtics have been dealing with injuries to their rotation players all season, but they’re fully healthy coming out of the All-Star break, Terada adds in another MassLive story. Jaylen Brown missed the previous four games with a facial fracture, but he’s not on the injury report after playing 25 minutes in the All-Star Game.
  • Blake Griffin‘s NBA experiences over 12 years enable him to relate to both the stars and role players on the Celtics’ roster, observes Jay King of The Athletic. Griffin is only playing sporadically in his first season in Boston, but he has become a popular leader in the locker room. “As you get older, you have to be somewhat self-aware,” Griffin said. “I don’t even know if self-aware is the right word. Just in touch with reality. Some guys just want to go make as much money as they possibly can. And I don’t fault anybody for any decision that they make, guys have to take care of what they want to take care of. I’ve been fortunate enough to be on some good teams and be in the position I am to be able to make these decisions based on trying to win a championship. So you have to let go of your ego and just be self-aware about your game. But the biggest driving point to me is just winning.”
  • Having the word “interim” removed from his job title isn’t a big deal for head coach Joe Mazzulla, who tells Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, “The interim tag was never a thing because we’re all interims.”

Pacific Notes: Lakers, S. Johnson, Booker, Suns, Warriors

Veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein (Twitter link) has confirmed that the Lakers remain ineligible to sign free agent swingman Stanley Johnson.

NBA rules prohibit Team A (in this case, the Lakers) from signing a player when he’s traded to Team B (ie. Utah) and that team waives him later in the season (or during the following season, if the trade took place during the offseason).

In this specific case, Johnson – after being cut by Utah – was signed and then waived by Team C (San Antonio), but the restriction on the Lakers remains in place. If the Jazz had hung onto Johnson, traded him to the Spurs, and he had subsequently been released by San Antonio, the restriction on the Lakers would no longer apply.

While there has been no indication the Lakers actually had interest in bringing back Johnson, the application of this particular rule is still worth clarifying for any similar instances in the future.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report considers how the Lakers‘ moves at the trade deadline will affect their offseason, outlining their various cap options and taking a look at their potential luxury tax situation for 2023/24.
  • Suns star Devin Booker, who won a gold medal with Kevin Durant at the Tokyo Olympics, is thrilled to be teaming up with Durant in the NBA and proud of the fact that he has helped turn Phoenix into a desirable destination for stars, per Nick Friedell of ESPN. “We built something that the league has picked up on,” Booker said. “We were probably the laughingstock of the NBA about four or five years ago, and just turning that around to something serious to championship contenders is a quick turnaround for us, so we take a lot of pride in what we’ve built here. For us to be a destination that Kev wanted to come to is a big sign of that, to show respect of what we’ve done so far. We still have more to do, but we’re moving in the right direction.”
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic is skeptical that the Warriors will be in line for any significant compensation based on the NBA’s investigation into whether the Trail Blazers disclosed certain medical information about Gary Payton II. In Hollinger’s view, Golden State would be lucky to get back one of the five second-round picks that went to Portland in the deal.

Spurs Waive Stanley Johnson, Will Convert Charles Bassey To Standard Contract

The Spurs have released veteran forward Stanley Johnson, the team announced today in a press release.

Johnson signed with San Antonio in mid-December and averaged 5.8 points and 3.2 rebounds off the bench in 30 games while shooting 45% from three-point range. Despite being drafted in 2015, he’s only 26 and could spark some interest among contending teams on the buyout market.

Johnson was a part-time starter last season with the Lakers, who have a roster spot open after making several moves at the trade deadline. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report isn’t sure if L.A. can bring back Johnson because he was traded to the Jazz in August and subsequently waived (Twitter link), but Pincus believes the language in the collective bargaining agreement is murky enough that it might be worth a phone call to the league to verify.

The Spurs intend to use their roster opening to convert Charles Bassey‘s two-way deal to a standard contract, tweets Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio signed Bassey after the Sixers waived him in October, and he’s averaging 4.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in 24 games.

Southwest Notes: Johnson, Branham, Rockets, Green

Veteran forward Stanley Johnson has managed to grind his way to a major rotation role with the Spurs this season, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (subscriber link). McDonald notes that Johnson’s committed practice regimen has endeared him to this young rebuilding San Antonio club. Johnson joined the Spurs following a brief stint with the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the G League in December.

“I’m trying to put everything I have, all my focus and energy, into the games and practices,” Johnson said. “I’m very thankful to have any chance to play, even if it’s two minutes a game… I don’t take that lightly. To see a coaching staff that believes in me enough to put me out there on a nightly basis, I’m really grateful for it. It hasn’t happened for my whole career, and it could go away at some point.” 

Through 25 games with the Spurs, Johnson is averaging 5.7 PPG on .531/.444/.647 shooting. The 6’6″ vet is also chipping in 3.0 RPG and 2.3 APG.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Spurs rookie shooting guard Malaki Branham is growing as a ball-handler, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News (subscriber link). Branham has gotten extended run due to injuries to several San Antonio wings ahead of him in Gregg Popovich‘s rotation. “It’s being thrown in the fire and being ready to play every night,” Branham said. “I feel like I have been doing a good job at that.”
  • The rebuilding Rockets have a significant supply of draft equity as well as the contracts of veterans Eric Gordon and Boban Marjanovic to play with as the trade deadline looms. Kelly Iko and John Hollinger of The Athletic examine Houston’s options and how any moves might impact the club’s long-term future.
  • Grizzlies swingman Danny Green made his season debut for his new team on Wednesday following a knee surgery last spring, writes Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Green scored three points on 1-of-4 shooting from the floor in 10 minutes against the Trail Blazers. “It was good to get out there and be with the guys,” Green said. “Trying to figure out some things offensively and defensively. Try to build the chemistry… It was fun. Obviously, would’ve been nice to win the game but for me it was good to get out and play a little bit.” Green, 35, is on an expiring $10MM contract this year.

Western Notes: Leonard, McCollum, Johnson, Paul

Perhaps the most encouraging news for the Clippers in recent weeks is that their biggest star, Kawhi Leonard, appears to be rounding into form, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times notes. Though his minutes are still somewhat limited, Leonard has averaged 23.2 points and 35.0 minutes in four games during the team’s current road trip.

“As far as explosiveness, I don’t think that’s all the way back yet or as far as trusting it all the way right now. But just his decision-making, his timing of getting to his spots and getting to his shot and I think his timing of making passes when teams are double-teaming, making the right read in the right play, that’s really good,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • CJ McCollum admitted he was literally shooting for the Pelicans’ 3-point record, Andrew Lopez of ESPN writes. McCollum knocked down 11 to set the single-game franchise record as New Orleans defeated Philadelphia on Friday. “I was just trying to shoot as many 3s as possible, to be honest with you,” McCollum said. McCollum, who is ineligible to be traded this season, is under contract with New Orleans through 2026 after signing an extension in September.
  • Veteran forward Stanley Johnson has only been on the Spurs roster for less than three weeks but he feels that being a vocal leader is part of his duty, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News tweets. “The thing that is consistent with good teams is that they are very vocal,” said Johnson, who was signed to a one-year deal on Dec. 13. “I’m trying to be vocal as much as I can, and hope it’s contagious.”
  • Suns guard Chris Paul expressed frustration with what he feels is inconsistent officiating around the league, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic relays. Paul was addressing a delay of game call against him in a loss to Toronto. “It’s tough in this league, especially when you play for so long and you get techs,” Paul said. “So much stuff is trivial and it’s so much control over what you can say, interpret the rules. I watch and play every night and I see guys get things called. I watch too much basketball and guys just drop the ball night after night and I don’t see a delay of game.”

Spurs Sign Stanley Johnson, Waive Alize Johnson

3:07pm: The Spurs have officially signed Stanley Johnson, the team announced in a press release.

11:04am: The Spurs have waived big man Alize Johnson, who was on a non-guaranteed contract, the team announced today in a press release.

Johnson initially signed with San Antonio two weeks ago when the club was seeking frontcourt depth following injuries to forward Jeremy Sochan and center Jakob Poeltl. During his brief tenure in San Antonio, he logged 30 minutes across four games, scoring seven points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Poeltl, who has a bone bruise in his knee, isn’t taking contact yet, so he’s probably still a ways off from playing, tweets Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. However, as Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News notes (via Twitter), Sochan returned to action on Monday, reducing the need for Johnson, who hadn’t appeared in the Spurs’ last two games.

With their newly opened 15th roster spot, the Spurs intend to sign free agent swingman Stanley Johnson to a one-year contract, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Stanley Johnson recently signed a G League contract and joined the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s affiliate. He has appeared in three games since then and was off to a slow start, averaging 2.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 3.0 APG in 19.2 minutes per game. The 26-year-old has converted just 2-of-16 field goal attempts, including 1-of-11 three-pointers.

Stanley Johnson appeared in 48 games for the Lakers last season, starting 27 of them and averaging 6.7 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 1.7 APG on .466/.314/.716 shooting in 22.8 minutes per contest. He’s primarily known for his defensive versatility and the energy he brings to the court, having never made much of an impact on the offensive end.

The last two players the Spurs have signed to fill their 15th roster spot – Jordan Hall and Alize Johnson – have been on non-guaranteed deals, so it seems likely that Stanley Johnson’s contract will also be non-guaranteed. However, Charania’s report doesn’t confirm that.

Stanley Johnson Joins Heat’s G League Affiliate

Free agent forward Stanley Johnson has signed a contract to return to the G League and has officially joined a new team. The Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s affiliate, announced in a press release that they’ve acquired Johnson from the NBAGL’s available player pool, waiving former South Dakota standout Tyler Hagedorn to complete the transaction.

The eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Johnson appeared in 48 games for the Lakers last season, starting 27 of them. He averaged 6.7 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 1.7 APG on .466/.314/.716 shooting in 22.8 minutes per contest.

Johnson’s contract included a minimum-salary team option for 2022/23, which the Lakers picked up, but he was flipped to Utah along with Talen Horton-Tucker later in the offseason in the trade that sent Patrick Beverley to Los Angeles. Johnson then became a victim of a roster crunch in Utah — the Jazz waived him at the end of the preseason when they had to reduce their roster to 15 players on standard contracts.

With no NBA opportunities presenting themselves since Johnson became an unrestricted free agent in October, he’ll head back to the G League to try to prove that he deserves another shot at the NBA level.

The 26-year-old began last season with the South Bay Lakers before earning a call-up. This time around, he’ll play for the Heat‘s G League affiliate. Although Sioux Falls now holds Johnson’s NBAGL rights, he remains an NBA free agent with the ability to sign with any team at any time.

Central Notes: S. Johnson, Pistons, Pacers, Lopez, LaVine

The eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Stanley Johnson spent his first three-and-half NBA seasons in Detroit, but didn’t blossom into the player the Pistons hoped he would and has bounced around the league since then. Now a free agent, Johnson said during a Twitter Q&A that he’d welcome the opportunity to return to his first NBA team, as Mike Curtis of The Detroit News relays.

“I think the group is amazing,” Johnson wrote when asked about the current iteration of the Pistons. “(Head coach Dwane) Casey is amazing. Everything over there is great, we just didn’t figure it out. I’m 26. I’d love to right the wrong. Detroit loved on me crazy. The organization did too. I had a lot of growing up and trauma to deal with at 18, 19 (years old).”

A solid, versatile defender, Johnson has a decent chance to catch on with an NBA team at some point this season, but a return to Detroit seems unlikely to happen in 2022/23. The Pistons currently have a full 17-man roster and a 3-15 record, making them a long shot to be seeking veteran role players on the free agent market.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • The Pacers, who have won five in a row and nine of their last 11, look like they’re joining the Jazz as presumed lottery teams who are a little too talented to be major players in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes, writes Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required).
  • George Hill and Jrue Holiday are among the Bucks veterans who believe center Brook Lopez should be the leading candidate for this season’s Defensive Player of the Year award, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “You want my honest opinion?” Hill said. “He should have been Defensive Player of the Year for many years now.”
  • Referring to Friday’s disaster as a “career-worst night,” Bulls star Zach LaVine said after a Monday win over Boston that a conversation with his father helped him move on from his 1-of-14 showing and a late-game benching, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “He gave it to me straight,” LaVine said. “‘You played like s–t. Go play better next game. It’s as simple as that. It’s one game. You’ve played 500 games in your career. You’re going to have another bad night. Just hopefully it’s not as bad as that one. Go play better next game.'”