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Memphis Grizzlies to sign James Johnson

Discussion in 'Rio Grande Valley Vipers' started by Voice of Aus, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Voice of Aus

    Voice of Aus Contributing Member

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    Well their goes our no.2 overall pick, I'm happy for him but I'm angry at the same time because I know this won't be the only one.

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Hearing that Grizzlies are on the verge of signing small forward James Johnson, who is playing in the D League.</p>&mdash; Ronald Tillery (@CAGrizBeat) <a href="https://twitter.com/CAGrizBeat/statuses/412599886798790657">December 16, 2013</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    http://www.hoopsrumors.com/2013/12/grizzlies-james-johnson.html
     
  2. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    I wonder if getting players to the NBA will help the Vipers get better talent in the future. I know the draft helps prevent players somewhat from choosing teams. If I was a fringe NBA player and got drafted by a D League team with little success at getting players to the NBA, I would go overseas.

    Granted, if I was a fringe NBA players, I would probably go overseas anyway instead of risking injury in D League.
     
  3. NotChandlerParsons

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    I think it already has. They have a pretty good rep for sending people to the NBA and were able to reload like this with most of the team turned over last year.
     
  4. HoopScribe

    HoopScribe Member

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    http://www.themonitor.com/sports/article_8f32a49e-66af-11e3-b84c-001a4bcf6878.html

    Vipers' Johnson called up by Grizzlies

    Dennis Silva II | The Monitor
    Twitter: @densilva2

    Twenty-four days into the 2013-2014 NBA D-League season, the Vipers had their first player called up to the NBA.
    The Memphis Grizzlies signed forward James Johnson to a contract on Monday. Johnson averaged 18.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.9 steals and 3.4 blocks in helping lead the Vipers to a 9-1 start. The 6-foot-9, 245-pound four-year NBA veteran also shot 49.6 percent from the field.
    If there was one aspect of the game that Johnson, who found out about the Grizzlies’ interest after Friday’s loss to Texas, was clearly a level or two above his D-League peers, it was athleticism. So much so, in fact, that when Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey came down to attend last week’s game against Reno, he left convinced Johnson’s days as a Viper were numbered.
    “I’m somebody who can bring athletic energy and a scorer off the wing,” said Johnson, the only D-League player this season to rank in the top 15 in scoring, rebounding and assists. “Somebody has to help out (Grizzlies big men) Zach (Randolph) and (Marc) Gasol. Bring what they’ve been missing.”
    The 26-year-old Johnson was the 16th overall pick in the first round of the 2009 draft by the Chicago Bulls out of Wake Forest University. Since then, he has played 219 NBA games, averaging 6.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists, with the Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings. He spent the preseason with the Atlanta Hawks, but was waived on Oct. 21 before being drafted by the Vipers with the second overall pick in November's D-League draft.
    Johnson said he is a different man since he was cut by the Hawks.
    “I’ve got my head on right,” he said. “From being cut to going to the D-League, that humbles you. I’m ready to just play my game and show a new James Johnson.”
    Vipers coach Nevada Smith said the team has no plans at the moment to fill Johnson’s roster spot. Instead, the Vipers are more likely to move an inactive player to the active roster and wait a few weeks before determining what is needed. For now, reserve sharpshooter Troy Daniels, the league’s fifth-best scorer, will take Johnson’s starting spot, giving the Vipers a three-guard lineup.
    At first glance, Johnson’s promotion will significantly hurt the Vipers’ versatility. Johnson was often used as a secondary ballhandler and even played the entire fourth quarter of the game against Texas at point guard. With his size and strength as a shooter and attacker, he was an imposing matchup for opposing defenses.
    But Smith is also hopeful Johnson’s departure means more room for growth for guys like center Tim Ohlbrecht, a D-League All-Star last season, promising rookie forward Kevin Parrom and others who are likely to see heavier minutes and responsibility.
    “It means more minutes for the guys who aren’t playing a lot. This is their chance,” Smith said. “It’s great for James and he belongs there in the NBA.
    "Obviously it hurts us, but we’ll move on and move forward. It’s a learning process for us.”

    dsilva@themonitor.com
     
  5. RocketsTerps

    RocketsTerps Member

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    We should have waived Ronnie Brewer to keep James Johnson.
     
  6. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    Brewer is likely being kept for trade purposes as he is the biggest expiring contract that Rockets can trade without getting player approval.
     
  7. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member

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    He is an NBA player, whenever I watched the RGV games he stood head and shoulders above all the other players on the court, just so smooth and effortless, reminded me of TMac.

    DD
     
  8. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

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    Define 'NBA player', please. Starter? Rotation? Roster filler? Thanks.
     
  9. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member

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    Looked like his skills would translate to the next level - maybe a rotation player, I have no idea how much better he could get etc.

    I am not Karnack or CXbby.

    DD
     
  10. Voice of Aus

    Voice of Aus Contributing Member

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    @rgvvipers: #LeaguePassAlert #FormerViper James Johnson just entered the game for the @memgrizz. Grizz trail Lakers 43-40, 4:52 2Q.

    He just played 4 minutes and went 0-1, -6 in +- with no other stats in the box score
     
  11. EnergyGuy

    EnergyGuy Rookie

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    Just looking at the Memphis game, and seeing Jon Leuer doing well.

    I remember when we got him as part of a trade (very quickly waived by Morey), Parsons said he was a very good player. So I've checked up on him once in a while. He seems to produce when he gets minutes, and he's a pretty decent stretch 4 albeit not a good defender. A smart player and solid rebounder at 5 reb / 20 min. 47% from 3pt land this season.
     
  12. Voice of Aus

    Voice of Aus Contributing Member

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    Johnson fished with 2 FT's made for the game.
     
  13. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

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    OK, thanks not Karnak nor CXB. One last query, please: can you compare and contrast what you saw of him v Covington? Thanks in advance for your sight's insight.
     
  14. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة

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    Congratulations to James

    Starter for the Memphis Grizzlies
    30 minutes 2-2 FG 1-1 3FG and 5 pt and 8 rb 3as 2 st
     
  15. EnergyGuy

    EnergyGuy Rookie

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    That was quick
     
  16. GIGO

    GIGO Member

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    More impressive against Dallas: 11 points in 20 mins off the bench with 3/5 FGM, 3/3 3PM, 2 Rbs, 2 asts, and 1 sts.

    And he'll be facing the Rockets after Christmas in one of our 5 games in 7 days.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bwfzNa6p_hc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  17. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

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    So, what is the comparison, for those who have seen and have some insight, Johnson v Covington?

    For extra credit, just what is Troy Daniels? Is he an NBAer waiting for an op or is he a good D-Leaguer?
     
  18. BimaThug

    BimaThug Resident Capologist
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    Johnson is much stronger than Covington and (given what I've seen of him in RGV so far this season) appears to have a more well-rounded offensive game than Covington. Meanwhile, I think Covington has a better shooting stroke (albeit not one that is connecting at an acceptably high level yet).

    Remember that Johnson's physical tools caused him to be a mid-first round pick a few years ago. Meanwhile, Covington (who also has impressive physical tools) went undrafted. Of course, the biggest reasons for that were Covington (1) came out of a much smaller program at Tennessee State and (2) had an injury that scared some teams off.

    Keep in mind, however, that Covington is just a rookie and has significant room for improvement. He may well end up a better NBA player than Johnson.
     
  19. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

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    Thank you. I appreciate this.
     
  20. HoopScribe

    HoopScribe Member

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    It's my opinion that Covington can make up for a lot of what was lost when Johnson was called up - shotblocking, quickness, agility, versatility. I think it'd be fair to say that Covington, right now, is a poor man's James Johnson.

    Covington has struggled shooting, but he has impressed me as an attacker. He's an underrated rebounder and he can be a superior defender if he ever commits himself to it. There is a lot of potential there, but the one thing that stands out most between him and Johnson is strength. Covington needs an offseason in the weight room.

    Daniels is a specialist, a hired gun. He could be put on an NBA team right now and be able to knock down shots consistently. He has outstanding range and a great release. But he needs more work on his defense, particularly one-on-one. He could maybe have a career as a seventh or eighth man on quality teams. I just don't see him much higher, for now, because of his defensive limitations.
     

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