Trey Johnson Turning Heads in D-League; Will NBA Call-Up Follow?
Johnson, a 6-foot-5 scorer out of Jackson State, is averaging a league-leading 25.6 points, 4.4 assists and 4.1 rebounds this season while shooting 48 percent from the field. This being Johnson's fourth season in the D-League, he's on his way to career highs in scoring and rebounding averages along with a much-improved field goal percentage.
Johnson's best game of the season came in mid-December when the Jam traveled to Austin to take on the Toros. Taking nearly every Austin defender to task, Johnson racked up a D-League season-high 43 points on 15-of-24 shooting from the field and 13-of-14 from the charity stripe while displaying his outstanding mid-range game as well as finishing strong at the basket. Along with his outstanding offensive numbers, Johnson also grabbed 11 rebounds and turned the ball over only three times in 40 minutes despite having the ball in his hands for the majority of his team's offensive possessions.
Unfortunately for the Mississippi native and high school teammate of the Cleveland Cavalier's Mo Williams, Johnson has yet to translate his D-League success into a solid opportunity at the next level. He's enjoyed short stints, however, as he's had a few cups of coffee in the NBA via training camp invites from the New Orleans Hornets in 2007, the Phoenix Suns in 2008 and the Los Angeles Lakers this past October along with a couple of 10-day contracts from the Cavaliers during the 2008-09 season.
His phone could soon be ringing again, though, perhaps as soon as Wednesday when 10-day contracts become available for the first time this season. According to one NBA scout speaking to FanHouse earlier this week, Johnson's could be a hot commodity for NBA teams looking for a scoring boost, calling him a "pure scorer with the ability to play a little ... point guard, too."
"With what Reggie Williams did last year," the scout noted, "it wouldn't surprise me to see someone give him a chance to go out and just put up points."
As Johnson has shown consistently in the D-League, putting up points shouldn't be a problem.