Chris Johnson was originally signed to shore up the Celtics backcourt, but he has made more of an impact on this team than anyone thought he would.
A call up from the D-League, Johnson appeared in 20 games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League this season and averaged 19.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 block in 37.2 minutes per game. He was brought to fortify the Boston backcourt after the Jordan Crawford trade.
Rajon Rondo was just coming back from his injury, Avery Bradley was in and out of the lineup with ankle issues, and Jerreyd Bayless had just arrived to Boston when Chris Johnson was called up. He had one job, play hard and earn another contract.
Johnson did just that.
In his Celtics debut, Johnson showed that he belongs in this league due to his outstanding efforts on defense as well as his accuracy from beyond the 3-point arc.
Johnson earned the respect from his teammates, coaches, and GM Danny Ainge who would eventually reward his hard work with a second 10-day contract, and after that a multi-year (although not guaranteed) contract.
His defensive energy is inspiring to his teammates, and he is the type of 3 and D player every team needs. He runs the floor as well as any player in the NBA and the word "quit" isn't in his vocabulary.
The Celtics have a big offseason ahead of them, and with his play, Chris Johnson is making a case for a roster spot next season. However, a lot can change over the course of the NBA offseason, so nothing is guaranteed. But that's okay, because neither is Johnson's contract. So he'll have to keep fighting if he wants to stay in Boston, but for Chris Johnson, that won't be a problem.