Rockets Second Rounder Nick Johnson Rewarded With 3-Year Guaranteed Deal

By Brett David Roberts

Mar 27, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Nick Johnson (13) dribbles against the San Diego State Aztecs during the first half in the semifinals of the west regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Johnson, nephew of Boston Celtics great Dennis Johnson, is already doing great things after having been selected No. 42 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Nick Johnson, a 6’4″ guard from Arizona, took the summer circuit by storm.  Johnson posted 12.5 points, 4.4 boards and 2.2 dimes per game in the Vegas summer league. Those numbers closely rival what he posted in his junior season at Arizona before declaring for the draft.

Johnson has gone from being a wildcard to a necessity with the Rockets having sacrificed Jeremy Lin to cut payroll.  Resultantly, his contract is reflecting a high degree of confidence in a player whose pedigree and athleticism are both without question.

It’s not often that second round picks secure multiyear guaranteed deals.

Reasonably, Johnson has a good shot at earning the primary backup spot behind James Harden, but he will compete for the role with sharpshooter Troy Daniels. Johnson may be able to serve as a point guard, too, given his quickness and the fact that James Harden is the ball-dominant figure he is.

The Rockets traditionally rely on Beard to initiate plays within the offense, while Johnson could develop slowly as the third or fourth guard in the rotation.

Isaiah Canaan will also see time at the 1-spot, but with so many unproven talents, the competition will be heavy in the Rockets backcourt. And that, by all accounts, is a very good thing.

Source:  Houston Chronicle