Robert Flom (@RichHomieFlom): If Wes Johnson can be brought back for a reasonable price I think Doc should make it happen. Assuming Jeff Green is re-signed (we'll talk about him later) and Paul Pierce retires, that leaves only one real small forward on the roster. And Wes proved this season he is a perfectly fine backup small forward. He can even play some small ball four. Is he great? Nah. But he is usable and he knows the players and system already.
The issue is how the Clippers will re-sign him (if he opts out, which he should and will do). He obviously won't come back for the vet minimum, and I would like to see the Clips go after a better or higher upside player with their MLE. That just leaves the BAE, which is around 2 years for $4.5 million. Would Wes take that? I think he gets more elsewhere, but Doc is persuasive, and I hope Wes will at least consider staying in Los Angeles, his home for the last three years. I would be happy to have him back.
Larson Ishii (@KingLarsonal): I think the comparison has been made before, but Wes Johnson is kinda like a poor man's Jeff Green, in that it seems like teams and GMs had always been willing to give him a chance and roll the dice, if only because from a paper and physical tools standpoint, he looks like he should be a terrific basketball player. Like Green however, the league may be figuring out that at age 28 and five years into the league, Wes is who he is. The question is, how much will that cost, especially this summer.
I'd like to bring Wes back next year if possible, as I think he did alright for the Clippers. He started out on a torrid streak from deep which proved to be unsustainable, but as he cooled down from three point land, it seemed like his defense improved. If he could put both of those things together, he could fit a Matt Barnes type of role as our starting small forward next year, and that could be what it takes to keep him here; remember that it was rumored among the reasons Wes decided to take a minimum deal with the Clippers was because Doc was considering starting him. But if it's between giving say, the BAE, who Luc or Wes, I'm not quite sure which I'd rather do. I like Wes, but he is replaceable.
Adithya (@brownasthenight): Wes Johnson? More like Yes Johnson.
Bring him back if you can, without a second thought. He might not be a starting-caliber SF, as some of us had hoped before the season started - but he's a very capable backup in spite of his limitations. As a backup SF, somewhere between 8-10 in the rotation, he delivered as much as you could expect, and sometimes more. I was a big fan of his active hands in particular - his ability to come up with weakside blocks and get his hands on steals.
The offense was a little disappointing. We didn't get to see the same kind of rim-rattling athleticism he displayed at other stops (I expected more lobs, personally), and his shot fell off severely after a hot start to the season, but he showed more than enough to warrant a re-signing.
Taylor Smith (@TaylorBojangles): I thought Wesley would eventually stake a claim to the starting small forward spot, but Doc clearly preferred the defense Luc Mbah a Moute brought to the table instead. Considering he cost a hair over a million dollars he gave LAC solid production on both ends for the majority of the season. He's been fairly labeled as a bust after being drafted No. 4 overall several years ago but has wound up carving a nice little niche for himself in the league.
In the end, Johnson is a guy that'll give you a few threes every now and then along with some solid team defense. He's not a brilliant individual defender, but there's a place for a guy that has a knack for coming up with 50/50 balls and blocking a few shots from a wing position. You'd expect him to be able to garner more than the minimum on the open market, but how much more? The Clips are pretty restricted as far as flexibility goes, so I'd prefer not to give him the ~$5.5 million annually that comes with the midlevel exception. If the biannual exception is enough to bring him back, as Larson mentioned, then I'd do that in a heartbeat.