Raptors Call Up Trey Johnson, the D-League's Leading Scorer
Johnson, the D-League's leading scorer, is averaging 25.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists while making 51 percent of his attempts from the field this season. In 101 career D-League games, all with the Bakersfield Jam, Johnson's posted averages of 20.2 points, 4.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds. He also earned two 10-day contracts with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2008-09 season, but appeared in just four games for 14 minutes total.
Johnson, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, told FanHouse following the D-League Showcase that he was ready and waiting for the right opportunity in the NBA.
"I have a strong belief in God and, for whatever reason, I'm still here. I'm not going to accept just getting called-up, having a 10-day contract, and then coming right back down, and maybe God understands that," Johnson told FanHouse following the Showcase. "Maybe He's like 'I'm going to get him to a situation where he's going to be able to perform well; where he's going to stick and get a legitimate opportunity to go out there and do some things.' I mean, I was called up to Cleveland and I had two 10-days, but I didn't really play. I'm very thankful for the opportunity, but how legit can I really say my time in the NBA was since I didn't really get a chance to play?"
As D-League Digest's Joey Whelan noted earlier this season, it's difficult to explain why Johnson's still in the D-League after playing as efficiently as he has thus far this season. He's currently posting a true shooting percentage of 58 percent and a career-best 20.8 PER -- both showing that his work at being more efficient has paid dividends.
"Coming into the season, my goal wasn't to go out there and average so many points, it was just to be more efficient because I think that's what teams look for when they're looking at bringing up D-League guys," Johnson said. "You're not going to be the first offensive option, or second, or even third , so you have to be efficient in what you're doing -- whether you're taking six shots or 26 shots, you've got to be efficient."
Johnson can play both guard spots, but has been more of an off-guard with the Jam this year due to their already having two point guards on the roster -- and the team's need for a go-to scorer. Over his last five games, Johnson's averaging 29.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists while shooting 58 percent from the field and turning the ball over fewer than three times per game.
Johnson will be the fifth call-up of the D-League season, following Zabian Dowdell (Phoenix Suns), Larry Owens (San Antonio Spurs), Mustafa Shakur (Washington Wizards) and Chris Johnson (Portland Trail Blazers).