The Celtics traded the rights to Marshon Brooks to the now Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Johnson, and boy did the team mess that one up. Johnson was drafted out of Purdue and had a storied career with the Boilermakers. He was an All-Big Ten performer but his NBA prospects were always tough to figure out. He had some upside but he came with a lot of question marks. Celtics GM Danny Ainge took a swing anyway and missed terribly, instead watching Brooks have a great rookie season in New Jersey.
Brooks looks like, at worse, a long term sixth man but with continued improvement a long time starter at the shooting guard position. Long and wiry, he can put up points in bunches and would have looked awfully good coming off the Celtics bench last year. The Celtics went through many long scoring droughts from their bench last year and Brooks is really good at one thing, and that is scoring.
The Celtics never really gave Johnson a chance last year. His biggest game came against the Chicago Bulls, but after that, not much else. Head coach Doc Rivers never felt he was ready defensively and it showed as he was often late on his help side defensive assignments.
I am quite confident that Johnson will get another chance in this league but he certainly will have to make many improvements to his game in order to carve out a long term role with a team. Johnson still has room for growth but he is starting to run out of time. He is still young and hopefully he will catch on with a new team shortly. It would be a shame to have your career over at such a young age.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news go to the team homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18