If you thought Diamond Stone was hard to guage, Brice Johnson is a bit harder. The Clippers 2016 First Round selection never got a chance to really gel with the team, as a herniated disk during the Pre-Season kept him out until February and capped his rookie campaign to nine minutes of action spread out over three appearances. Like Stone, it’s unlikely that Johnson would have received any extended playing time with the crowded front-court, however, the injury prevented him from gaining valuable experience during training.
Strengths: During his nine minutes of action, Johnson chipped in with four points, two rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block and shot two-of-seven from the field. Difficult to gauge. In the D-League, for the Salt Lake City Stars, Johnson averaged just under 20 minutes, scoring 12.2 and grabbing 6.5 rebound swith a block and a half chipped in. Going back to his North Carolina days, Johnson is expected to be a solid rebounder that has a soft touch around the rim.
Weaknesses: At this point, the Clippers just need Johnson to stay healthy. A four-year senior at North Carolina, age isn’t quite on his side for a NBA sophomore, and he needs all the time on the court he can get to improve his game and stick around for a few years.
Best Moment: With his lack of time in a Clippers uniform, Johnson’s best moment also came in a Stars jersey in a 112-106 victory over the Raptors 905. Despite playing just over 14 minutes, Johnson came off the bench to chip in with 13 points and 6 rebounds and finishing with a +5.
Worst Moment: Has to be the injury early in the pre-season. If that hadn’t occurred, Johnson might have contributed to his development in some way or another.
Summary/Outlook: With the Clippers front court rotation being a toss-up, the Clippers need Brice to work on his jumper and continue to hone his soft touch around the bucket, along with the rebounding he showed that he was proficient at while playing for Roy Williams in North Carolina. Expect him back in Los Angeles for next season, if only due to his rookie scale contract as well.
Final Grade: Incomplete