Brooklyn Nets: Signing Alize Johnson to 10-day contract is a quietly brilliant move

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 29: Alize Johnson #24 of the Indiana Pacers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 29: Alize Johnson #24 of the Indiana Pacers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets are still looking to get stronger as they push for the playoffs, even after they added Blake Griffin to a suddenly crowded frontcourt rotation. Sean Marks has even resorted to picking off valued commodities from division rivals, as Toronto Raptors G League star Alize Johnson is coming to town.

Not only did Johnson, a former second-round pick out of Missouri State who spent most of his pro career with the Indiana Pacers, dominate the G League in its truncated season, but he could’ve helped a Raptors team that is currently at the bottom of the league in terms of defensive rebounding.

Instead, the versatile 6-7 forward that can play on the wing or as a small ball center with equal amounts of aplomb, has decided to make his return to the NBA by signing with one of their rivals in Brooklyn.

The Nets, who needed to meet the roster requirement, signed Johnson to a 10-day contract, apparently having been wowed by the numbers he put up with Raptors 905 this season. With Toronto having chosen Henry Ellenson, who has played in a mop-up role for just two games, over Johnson, he could make them regret this decision by balling out.

How will Alize Johnson help the Brooklyn Nets?

Johnson averaged 16.6 points and 13.5 rebounds per game on 57% shooting in the G League. Most of Johnson’s finishes came at the rim, but he showed that he has a deadly mid-range jumper that he can uncork if he needs to.

While the Nets have claimed that Blake Griffin will be their small ball center off of the bench, Johnson might actually be better for that role, as Griffin’s 3-point shot and Johnson’s rebounding prowess could force Griffin out near the perimeter more often than Johnson.

Johnson might not force Steve Nash to make a ton of changes to the lineup, but there is a chance he ends up overtaking second-round pick Reggie Perry in the rotation given how Johnson outperformed him in the G League. Johnson could stick past his initial contract if he plays his cards right.

The Nets are still in the hunt for complementary pieces that could supplement their star trio by coming through with some timely baskets and securing enough rebounds to help out this smaller team. Johnson is a somewhat unknown commodity, but his success in the developmental ranks should get Nets fans excited about his pro potential.

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