With the NBA releasing the schedule for the upcoming season, LA Clippers fans can begin to look forward to what should be a promising year at Staples Center.
Although the organization has made a number of moves to better position the team for the 2018-19 season and beyond, one familiar face returning will be Wesley Johnson. Johnson opted into the final year of his 3-year, $18 million deal that was signed in 2016. The opt-in will pay Johnson $6.1 million next year.
The 30-year-old reserve wing started 40 games last season, mainly due to injury. Johnson is best served as a spark plug 3-and-D option off Doc Rivers’ bench. He averaged 5.1 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 2017-18, which are solid numbers for a condensed role.
His ability to hit three-pointers is a bonus to his defense, which was ranked as the fourth best on the Clippers last year. Rivers has also praised Johnson’s ability at that end of the floor.
"I think it's being more active, more alert, understanding the system better," Rivers told reporters following a January game against the Memphis Grizzlies. "I thought he came into camp in better mental shape and physical shape. So, I thought he was looking forward to having a good year and he's doing that."
Johnson will most likely spell Tobias Harris in the frontcourt. The 6-foot-7 wing can play multiple positions, though, and he should average nearly the same number of minutes. In 2017-18, Johnson tallied 20.1 MPG.
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