The Detroit Pistons drafted Amir Johnson in the 2nd round of the 2005 NBA Draft. He was drafted out of high school, and was the last player ever to go that route. The NBA made a rule in 2006 that players had to be 1 year removed from high school in order to enter the league.
In August of 2009 the Toronto Raptors traded Carlos Delfino and Roko Ukic to Detroit for Sonny Weems and Johnson. In his 3 seasons with the Raps Johnson has played in 218 games, 102 of those were starts (97 the last 2 seasons). For the most part he has been consistent with his numbers. He is always consistent with his effort.
Johnson can play center or power forward. His PF game is a bit better just because he does not have to give up size to his opponent (Johnson is 6’9″ 240). He averages 8.3 points per game as a forward, 7.2 as a center. As a forward he gets 1.7 blocks per game (very good). As a center he is at 0.7 blocks per game. He averages 6.8 rebounds at either position. His defense is a key for this team. He averages 1.8 blocks in wins, 0.7 in losses.
Johnson is consistent whether it is a home game or away game. He is a better offensive rebounder than defensive rebounder. Johnson earns playing time with Dwane Casey because he is an active shot blocker and has no problem being committed on the defensive end.
Johnson is not a guy you will run a lot of plays for, but he does have a bit of a post-up game. Not a good shooter, but a guy that can finish at the rim and put back teammates misses. His bigger scoring games usually come vs the Western Conference teams as they usually prefer to run-and-gun resulting in higher scoring games.
Johnson will get plenty of playing time for years to come with this team. He is an energy and defense guy which is what Casey covets, and he has 3 years remaining on his 5-year $34 million contract.
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