NBA News

Rockets Will Sign Nick Johnson (Updated w/ video)


Mar 29, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Nick Johnson (13) shoots the ball against Wisconsin Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky (44) during the first half in the finals of the west regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Following what has proved to be an impressive summer league showing thus far, 42nd pick Nick Johnson will land a three-year contract with Houston.

Via Chris Haynes of Comcast Sports Net Northwest:

Rockets like what they’ve seen in second round pick Nick Johnson out of Arizona and plan to ink him to three-year deal, league source says.

— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 16, 2014

Through five games in the Orlando Summer League, Johnson produced averages of 15.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists.  The 21 year old’s highlights from this stretch include a triple-double performance against the Nets (15 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists), as well as two incredible displays of his exceptional athletic abilities:

Thus far in Las Vegas, Johnson has continued to utilize his gifts and create plays for his summer league squad.

Last season at Arizona, Nick was a force on both ends of the court for the Wildcats.  He was arguably the team’s best offensive player as a junior, as he showcased an ability to attack the basket as well as light it up from deep every now and then.  The 16.3 points and 36.7 percent shooting from three he put forth are a clear-cut testament to this fact.

Defensively, Johnson’s explosiveness as well as his 6’7 wingspan allowed him to consistently stop opponents in their tracks.  He also displayed quick hands, averaging a little more than a steal per game.

As a result of his outstanding performance last season at Arizona, Nick was named Pac-12 Player of the Year, and earned a spot on the conference’s all-defensive team.

Heading into the NBA, it is uncertain how Johnson will fit in with the Rockets as a rookie.  While he did produce a solid collegiate season as a point guard in 2013-14, he is capable of playing in the off-guard spot as well.  At this point, Nick is more of a tweener, and it will be interesting to witness how his time in Houston works out.

The explosive plays will help his case for minutes off the bench right away.

Wow. If his summer league play is indicative, one thing moving forward is clear: the Rockets drafted a potential gem in 42nd pick Nick Johnson.