After moving around the league quite a lot since entering the NBA four years ago, James Johnson is hoping that his next team is one that actually gives him a defined role that hopefully entails quite a lot of minutes with it. The San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks and the Utah Jazz are all interested, but it’s not quite sure about the minutes.
His best chance of getting some playing time is with the Jazz, who do have Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors as their starting big men, but behind them are very thin. Johnson, a 6’9 player who has played both forward positions since entering the league, should give them a decent backup at power forward.
Since being drafted by the Bulls in 2009, he has averaged 6.3 points and 3.2 rebounds on 18.3 minutes a night, with his best time coming during the 2011-2012 season with the Toronto Raptors, scoring 9.1 points per game on 25.3 minutes a night.
With the Spurs and the Hawks, his chances of getting minutes aren’t very likely. Atlanta have added three power forwards this summer alone, which means that adding Johnson will be only to fill one of the final roster spots on the team, and the same goes for the Spurs, who aren’t likely to give Johnson too many minutes if he does actually join them.
Johnson wasn’t far from being a lottery pick when he came out of Wake Forest and was taken with the 16th overall pick by the Bulls in the 2009 draft, but he has played on three different teams since he began his NBA career, playing 54 games last season for the Sacramento Kings, averaging 5.1 points per game on 16.3 minutes a night.
At this point of free agency, Johnson is pretty much one of the elite players a team can find when looking for one final player to fill their bench. The question might be if Johnson is willing to take a minimum deal (Which he’ll probably have to) and the amount of guaranteed money on it. However, it doesn’t seem like he has a lot of leverage after four fairly disappointing seasons.