He averaged 5.1 points, 2.7 rebounds per game last season while playing 54 games with the Sacramento Kings. He’s had an up-and-down career since getting drafted No. 16 in 2009 by the Chicago Bulls. He had a good season in 2012 with 9.1 points and 4.7 rebounds in 62 contests with the Toronto Raptors. He’s 6-foot-9, 245 pounds and can provide a physical presence for the Hawks who basically invited him to training camp as a tryout to see what he can do.
Johnson has never averaged a lot of minutes during a season, but has worked to deliver enough production for his team to be worth keeping on the roster.
But he’s going to have to do better than he did his first preseason game with Atlanta. He played against the Miami Heat for 20 minutes with two points, five rebounds and two turnovers. In the next game against the Charlotte Bobcats, he scored two points in 3.5 minutes of action. Hustle has always been a strength for Johnson and it continues to be that way. But he needs to produce right now.
He has a few more games to earn a spot, but speculation is that Johnson might be retained by the Hawks or another team for a 10-day contract in case someone needs a capable player to fill in some spots. He’s had plenty of pro playing experience and provides teams with more of an option than a rookie coming in trying to learn the ropes of the NBA.