Lakers’ Search for Upgrades Leads to Nets’ Cam Johnson: Key Trade Considerations

Key Takeaways:
– The Lakers are exploring trade options as they struggle to secure new additions through free agency.
– Nets forward Cam Johnson has emerged as a trade prospect for the Lakers.
– Despite his injury history, Johnson’s shooting proficiency could benefit the Lakers.
– The Nets are looking for suitors for Johnson, with possible interest from the Pacers, Kings, and Hornets.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been looking to revamp their roster following a quiet beginning to the NBA free agency. Short on resources but rich on spirit, the Lakers are hoping to snag a key player. One name persistently coming into the frame is Nets’ forward Cam Johnson.

Johnson and the Lakers: A Possible Fit?

Lacking significant progress in freeing up their mid-level exception for a new addition, they are now looking to the trade market. A player at the top of their radar? Brooklyn Nets forward Cam Johnson. Despite an inconsistent track record due to injuries, Johnson’s expertise on the court may make him the right fit for the Lakers.

Despite not being considered a superstar, Johnson’s style of play, and particularly his shooting ability, makes him a force to be reckoned with. His ability to provide both defensive and offensive versatility is what the Lakers need to keep pace in the evolving NBA landscape.

A Closer Look at Cam Johnson

Since his 2019 debut out of North Carolina as the eleventh pick, Johnson’s specialty has been his shooting. He boasts a career record of shooting 39.2% from the field, crossing the 39% threshold from behind the arc in four of his five NBA seasons.

However, injuries have posed significant challenges to Johnson’s professional journey. He has grappled with recurring health issues that frequently sideline him. In fact, in his five NBA seasons thus far, Johnson has been available to play in only 27% of potential games. This includes the 42 games he played in the 2022-23 season following knee surgery.

Who Else is Interested in Johnson?

The Nets’ hopes of trading Johnson have sparked interest in the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Charlotte Hornets, all reportedly keen if Johnson becomes available for trade. The ultimate question is the price teams are willing to pay for Johnson, and how far will the Lakers extend to match the offers.

In the second year of a four-year, $95 million contract, Johnson’s trade value remains a hot topic. A consensus among NBA executives suggests that while he may be a good fit for many teams, fetching two first-rounders in exchange seems unlikely.

What it Means for the Lakers

The Lakers’ need for a versatile player like Johnson is indisputable. Considering the dwindling options and their roster demands, Johnson appears to be a practical choice worth considering. Nevertheless, the Lakers are keeping a steady eye on several other potential candidates, including DeMar DeRozan and Jerami Grant.

In the end, it all comes down to the bargain. The Lakers must entice the Nets with an offer handsome enough to secure Johnson without having to surrender their high-value, future first-round picks. If they can manage this delicate balancing act, Johnson’s arrival could potentially give the Lakers the jumpstart they need.

As in all trade conversations, it’s a case of “wait and see.” What’s certain is that the Lakers with Johnson in their ranks could bring a much-needed reshuffle, injecting fresh energy into their bid for future success.


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