When the Brooklyn Nets signed former Toronto Raptors G League star Alize Johnson to a 10-day contract, it didn’t seem to be a lot of a needle-moving transaction.
Whereas he put up some gaudy numbers within the G League, there needed to be a purpose that the Raptors, who want rebounding greater than some other workforce, let him go…proper?
Johnson has needed to struggle and claw for each inch within the NBA, as the previous Missouri State product and second-round choose has needed to overcome his 6-7, 212-pound body so as to grow to be a top quality rebounder on the skilled degree.
Based mostly on the early returns with the Nets, Johnson’s skill to rebound and rating inside has transferred over to Brooklyn.
Johnson is averaging 8.6 factors and 6.6 rebounds per recreation this season. Nonetheless, in case you take away a recreation towards the Chicago Bulls by which he performed 48 seconds, he’s totaling 10.7 factors and eight.2 boards per recreation, along with his double-double towards the Utah Jazz serving as his excessive level.
After participating within the full demolition of the New Orleans Pelicans in Kevin Durant’s return, Nets head coach Steve Nash hinted at the truth that Brooklyn wish to hold Johnson previous his second 10-day contract.
Alize Johnson may need a future with the Brooklyn Nets.
Johnson doesn’t have a really various offensive recreation, however he provides a really distinctive dimension to the Nets on each ends of the ground. Jeff Inexperienced had been enjoying some small-ball heart, however he lacks the defensive and rebounding chops to excel in that position.
Johnson permits Inexperienced and Blake Griffin to stay additional away from the basket, the place they’re more practical. Whereas he would possibly solely see most of his minutes in mop-up obligation, that would change if Brooklyn decides to maintain him.
If Johnson slowly develops a jumper, which shouldn’t be arduous to do given the excess of offensive teaching expertise on this workforce, he might carve out a job because the backup energy ahead or third-string heart. With DeAndre Jordan doubtless on the way in which out, Brooklyn might lean on two high-energy younger bigs in Johnson and Nicolas Claxton.
The Nets won’t have the ability to give Johnson a ton of enjoying time this yr on account of their surplus of veterans, however he assuredly has a future on this league. Somewhat than falling into the identical lure the Raptors did by permitting him to go some place else, Nash wants to suit Johnson into their long-term plans as a serviceable backup large man.