Tyler Johnson is now available after being waived by the Phoenix Suns. Is he a viable option to slot into the Los Angeles Lakers roster now that the seeming number one option, Darren Collison, has decided to stay in retirement? Does he fill the gap that the Lakers may or may not be trying to fill?
The Los Angeles Lakers are always linked in some way with seemingly every potential suitor on the market. But does Tyler Johnson‘s skill set enhance a roster that sits atop the west and will be inevitably pushing for the finals this year?
Johnson is coming off the back of missing the majority of the 18-19 campaign due to knee surgery and has averaged a mere 16.6 minutes per game this season for the Suns. In those minutes his shooting efficiency is down on his career average and his percentage from beyond the arc is down to a pitiful 28.9%, the worst in his career.
The question remains as to why Rob Pelinka and his team would target Tyler Johnson when what the team is looking for is a secondary ball-handler and somewhat of a playmaker and scorer within the second unit.
More from LA Sports Hub
Tyler is a workhorse, a guy who plays hard on every possession and is fundamentally sound. If you ask any Miami Heat fan, they will likely praise Tyler for his stint in South Beach. But unfortunately, there was little team success in Miami during those years and eventually, he was traded to the Suns for Ryan Anderson.
At the beginning of the season, a player like Tyler Johnson could have been a great acquisition for the Los Angeles Lakers. A hard-working, team guy who plays good team basketball. However, the Lakers are looking to add that final piece to the championship jigsaw.
Somebody with an edge, somebody with a championship or deep playoff experience, somebody who is going to come straight into the roster and make a difference.
Unfortunately, Tyler Johnson is none of those things, or at least he hasn’t been given the opportunity to show them yet. The Lakers have no time to see if a player can be, they need to know a player will be in the run-up to the playoffs.
There are other options available to the Lakers who have that upside potential and bring a host of experience alongside them. Riskier options, for sure, but people like J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters could well be the difference makers going into the playoffs.