When the Rockets sign-and-traded Courtney Lee to Boston, the Rockets received two major assets back from the Celtics, the early second rounder from Charlotte and JaJuan Johnson. Some knew Johnson best for not being MarShon Brooks, but others were intrigued by his potential.
Count me firmly entrenched in the second camp. Johnson struggled to break through for consistent minutes on an older Celtics squad and could flourish if he can get consistent playing time in Houston.
Though I am bullish on Johnson's prospects, I must say I am no expert. Thankfully, Jeff Clark of Celticsblog was kind enough to join The Dream Shake to discuss him. Here's what he had to say about Johnson's game and his future:
JaJuan Johnson (affectionately called JJJ in Boston) seems to have a lot of talent and a few limitations that he'll have to get over to be an effective contributor in the NBA. He's got very nice touch from the midrange (though his release is pretty slow and deliberate - so he better be wide open). He's got offensive talent but needs to be more assertive. I thought it was rookie jitters in his limited minutes last year but then when he didn't step up in the summer league it raised the concern another level. You could make the excuse that summer league is a guard's league, but that didn't stop Sullinger and others from having solid summers.
He could use a few extra pounds but he's always going to be rail thin. So don't expect to see him banging with the bigs on the block. Perhaps he could work on his weak side defense and fit in that way, but the jury is still out on his overall defensive upside.
Essentially he has to focus on maximizing his length and minimizing his lack of bulk. If I had to project his career, I'd hope for an upside of "solid rotation" guy who plays a finesse game. On a good team he could fill in well off the bench. On a bad team he might not have much value except as a trade chip.
Many thanks are in order to Jeff for joining us today for this. If you have the time, check out Celticsblog, it's one of the best team blogs on the net.
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