BJ Johnson

And-Ones: ROY Predictions, Offseason Rankings, NBAGL

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic has the best chance to win the Rookie of the Year award, according to an ESPN panel. Doncic will fill up the stat sheet and might wind up with the ball more often than second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr., according to Mike Schmitz. Top overall pick Deandre Ayton ranks second on the poll, with Schmitz noting that the Suns big man likely to get more playing time than any other rookie. Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton and Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. round out the top five.

We have more from around the league:

  • Retaining Paul George in free agency and dumping Carmelo Anthony‘s contract while receiving projected sixth man Dennis Schroder in return earned the Thunder the top spot on NBA.com’s David Aldridge’s offseason rankings. The rankings are based upon what teams have done during the offseason. The Lakers ranked No. 2 by virtue of signing LeBron James and handing out one-year contracts to other players, thus allowing them to be a force again in next year’s free agent market. The Nuggets gained the No. 3 spot by locking up Nikola Jokic and making trades that cleared roster spots and eased their luxury-tax situation.
  • Forwards DJ Hogg (Texas A&M) and Malik Pope (San Diego State) and swingman BJ Johnson (LaSalle) are among the top 10 prospects at the G League Invitational, according to Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. The invitational takes place Sunday in Chicago and over a dozen of last year’s prospects received training camp invites afterward.
  • The Warriors’ over-under odds for wins next season is 62.5, according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. The Celtics ranked second overall with a 57.5 over-under win total with the Rockets third at 54.5. The Hawks have the lowest projected win total at 23.5. The odds for each NBA team were passed along by ESPN’s Ben Fawkes.

Nets Hire Gianluca Pascucci, BJ Johnson

The Nets continue to reshape their front office under general manager Sean Marks, announcing today in a press release that they’ve added two more executives to their current group. Brooklyn has hired Gianluca Pascucci as the club’s director of global scouting, and BJ Johnson as coordinator of player evaluation.

“We are thrilled to add Gianluca and BJ to our front office,” Marks said in a statement. “Collectively, they bring valuable experiences that cross many platforms and their extensive knowledge of both the NBA and the global game will be tremendous assets to our scouting department. Both will be excellent additions to our culture and we are excited about welcoming them to Brooklyn.”

As Marks points out, the Nets’ new additions have basketball experience on a national and international level. Pascucci, who is coming off a stint as the Rockets’ VP of player personnel, and the GM of the D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers, previously spent several years with Italian team Olimpia Milano, acting as the team’s CEO and GM. Pascucci also has a previous stint in Houston as the Rockets’ international scout.

As for Johnson, he has worked for the last several years as USA Basketball’s assistant men’s national team director, and has held a variety of other roles in both the men’s and women’s USA Basketball programs.

Marks has only been on the job in Brooklyn for about six months, having been hired in February as the Nets’ new general manager. However, he has made significant changes to the team’s front office during his time with the franchise. Per NetsDaily (via Twitter), today’s additions bring the total number of new staff members hired by the Nets since Marks’ arrival to 25.