The way second round pick Nick Johnson is playing in the summer league so far, the Rockets should forget about Jeremy Lin quickly. Lin was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
Johnson recorded a triple double in the fifth and final Summer League game for the Rockets in the Orlando league. In the five games Johnson played for the Rockets he averaged 15.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5 assists. Check out this nasty 360 dunk he pulled off in the game yesterday.
Johnson has a chance
One thing is for sure, Patrick Beverly is the team's starting point guard, and a bargain at that, as he is slated to make a little over $915,000 this year. But with Lin being dealt to the Lakers it opens up a spot for Johnson. Johnson's main competition is Isaiah Canaan, who didn't play in Orlando, and Jahii Carson, who Johnson easily outshined in Orlando.
The 42nd pick in the draft also brings what Lin couldn't provide much of - defense. Johnson is much quicker and physical on the ball defensively and can provide a similar skillset to Lin's on offense.
An improvement on Lin?
He provides much more athleticism, and can also jump out of the gym. Don't get me wrong, Lin is a stat stuffer and an exciting player to watch, but is a liability on defense and turns the ball over a lot, he's turned the ball over 538 times in the last three years, good for about 3.5 a game. He'll get his numbers in L.A., but the efficiency might not be the greatest.
Johnson was considered a top four player in the nation last year according to the Naismith Award, a finalist before losing out to Doug McDermott. He helped lead Arizona to the Elite 8 before losing to Wisconsin. Johnson was also on the All-American and Pac-12 first teams, and the Pac-12 player of the year.
Johnson comes from a family rich full of talent as his father, Joey Johnson played professional basketball and his uncle is Dennis Johnson, a former five time NBA All-Star. Nick's dad had a reported 52" vertical jump.