Toronto Raptors Sign Free Agent Stanley Johnson

Toronto Raptors sign Stanley Johnson
WASHINGTON, USA - MARCH 14: Detroit Piston Stanley Johnson (3) goes up for a shot past Washington Wizards Nene (42) and Kelly Oubre (12) at the Verizon Center in Washington, USA on March 14, 2016. The Wizards dominated the Pistons, 124-81. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Stanley Johnson has signed with the Toronto Raptors for a two-year, 7.4 million dollar contract according to Shams Charania. It is the first move that the Raptors have made since the departure of Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers. This move fills a big hole at the small forward position for Toronto. Johnson was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and was selected 8th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons.

Toronto Raptors Sign Stanley Johnson

After a promising rookie season, one where he showed his defensive prowess in the playoffs against LeBron James, his numbers improvement flatlined. Johnson is a powerful athlete. But he has never seemed to put the offensive part of his game together. He has only averaged 7 points on 37 percent from the field over his brief NBA career. Johnson’s inability to shoot is why he is already on his third NBA team. Johnson finished last season with the New Orleans Pelicans after being involved in the Nikola Mirotic deal. 

Fit In Toronto

The Raptors need players who can defend multiple positions now that they no longer have Kawhi Leonard. It is clear that the organization has shifted to make Pascal Siakam the face of the franchise. Norman Powell and a healthy OG Anunoby should be moved into starting roles for the team. This means Toronto will need depth at the wing position, something Masai Ujiri will hope to get from Johnson. Siakam and Anunoby will have to continue to make shots. Them doing so will allow for Johnson to be thrown onto the floor to have an ultra-switchable defensive unit. Defense was the calling card for the Raptors throughout last season. As long as Johnson plays well on that end of the floor and stays within himself offensively he could see extended minutes for the defending NBA champions.

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