Wesley Johnson Offering Los Angeles Lakers Tantalizing Glimpse of What Could Be

There is not a more maddening player on the Los Angeles Lakers roster than Wesley Johnson.

Offering teasing glimpses of the productive force he could be, the 27-year-old small forward might aptly be described as the team’s own Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—mild-mannered and ordinary one night, and a beastly competitor the next.

Handing the former lottery pick a C+ during last season’s report cards, Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA wrote of Johnson: “The problem was his athleticism was just as frustrating as it was breathtaking because of the infrequency in which he implemented it to impact a game.”

There’s a reason Johnson’s past history as the No. 4 draft pick for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010 is incessantly recounted. It is because he has so routinely sidestepped his great promise.

Who were some of his lottery classmates that year?

John Wall was the top overall selection, DeMarcus Cousins was picked No. 5, Gordon Hayward was No. 9 and Paul George finished in 10th place.

Johnson’s career trajectory never took off, yet there are moments when he seems to connect the right dots.

Unfortunately, those moments are isolated and sporadic. His overall game is like a stock market graph—a never-ending series of dips and spikes that, in his case, always round out to the same basic result.

Now in his fifth NBA season, Johnson is basketball’s equivalent of Groundhog Day.

He’s averaging 8.4 points per game, a slight downtick from last season’s 9.1 points and just a shade up from his career average of 8.1.

In addition, his long-term median is lower than his rookie season, in which he averaged nine points per game.

In other words, Johnson's inconsistency is frustratingly consistent. He’ll give you double figures one night and go fishing the next. And th...

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