Johnson has spent the last two seasons as a dependable piece of the Boston Celtics‘ frontcourt rotation. He averaged 6.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 21.4 minutes while shooting 58 percent from the field across 159 regular-season appearances after signing a two-year, $24 million contract.
Those numbers don’t tell the entire story, though.
In March, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England noted the franchise had a “tremendous amount of respect and value for what Johnson brings to the table at both ends of the floor.” The analysis focused on the hustle plays and other intangibles he brought to the squad.
“He’s been very reliable all season,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said. “He just continues to get better as the season has progressed.”
Johnson’s game has always been built more on efficiency and effort than putting up monster stats in the box score.
The 30-year-old Los Angeles native ranked third in both true shooting percentage and assist ratio among qualified power forwards during the 2016-17 season, per ESPN.com.
In the end, Boston opted against bringing him back into the fold. Even though Johnson brought a lot to the equation from an energy standpoint, the playoffs showed the Celtics need more talent up front to seriously contend for an NBA championship.
Look for the battle-tested forward to slot in as a high-energy bench contributor behind Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid with the Sixers.
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