Former lottery pick Stanley Johnson has reinvented himself as a versatile rotation swingman for the Raptors, writes Blake Murphy of The Athletic. The 24-year-old Johnson is averaging 16.1 MPG for Toronto this season.
Playing in a more limited role than his first team, the Pistons, may have expected when they selected him with the No. 8 pick out of Arizona in 2015, Johnson has been able to hone in on the defensive end and build up his play-making. He is also connecting on a career-high 42.5% of his 1.3 three-point attempts a night.
Murphy notes that Johnson’s willingness to adjust to a role-player position with the Raptors could significantly extend his NBA career. The former lottery pick will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:
- Two-way Sixers power forward Paul Reed will join the club’s G League affiliate – the Delaware Blue Coats – as it departs for the NBAGL’s Orlando “bubble” campus ahead of the 2021 season, tweets Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- New Knicks off-guard Austin Rivers notes that New York has been dealing with an exhausting schedule, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. “Oh, we’re definitely tired,’’ Rivers said. “I don’t know how a schedule could be tougher than what we’ve played. Physically and mentally. At the same time, it is what it is. Here we are.”
- Multi-faceted Nets forward Jeff Green has helped Brooklyn’s suddenly thinned-out frontcourt following the trade that brought in All-Star James Harden, according to Greg Joyce of The New York Post. “It helps when you get Kevin [Durant] and Kyrie [Irving] and James on your team,” Green said. “A lot of attention is going to be on those guys, so I want to do my part in being ready to shoot. It just comes with repetition, the work that I’m putting in to make sure I’m prepared for those times where they are swinging the ball my way and I’m able to shoot.” Green is averaging 12.1 PPG and 4.7 rebounds in 32.9 MPG since the deal.