Lakers sign local product Stanley Johnson to a two-year contract

Lakers forward Stanley Johnson
Lakers forward Stanley Johnson goes to basket while defended by Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert during game Jan. 17, 2022.
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

The Lakers will keep one of Orange County’s best prep basketball players ever, signing Stanley Johnson to a two-year deal, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Times.

The second year will be a team option. The Lakers hope to finalize the deal on Thursday.

Johnson, who has played through three 10-day contracts with the Lakers, originally joined them as hardship a exemption during the Lakers’ coronavirus outbreak. He quickly earned two more 10-day deals because of his defensive versatility, starting six times. The Lakers won five of those games, including Tuesday against the Nets in Brooklyn.

Johnson, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, has played with Detroit, New Orleans and Toronto (and signed with Chicago, but never played) before landing with the Lakers. He attended Santa Ana Mater Dei High.

He’s averaging 6.4 points and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 51.6% from the field and 34.4%t from three-point range. He’s playing 21.2 minutes per game.

“I pray a lot, and I’m really confident in my work ethic,” Johnson said after scoring 15 points in a win against the Jazz on Jan. 17. “I can say a million things, but it is what it is. It’s going to be what it’s going to be.

“I’m from here so I’m a lot more comfortable here than probably a lot of other places. Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s some home cooking,” Johnson said.

“But outside of that I just pray and let it fly.”