Once a touted prospect, Wesley Johnson has completed his second season with the Clippers, and it was one to forget. The former fourth overall selection out of Syracuse University appeared in 68 games for the Clips, a dozen less than the previous year, despite the injury issues Doc Rivers faced. His minutes dwindled from 20.8 to 11.9 and the numbers across the board took a hit as well. With two more years remaining on his Mid-Level Exception contract, Johnson is expected to stay, but also has been a part of the Melodrama.
Strengths: At a lanky and long 6-foot-7 frame, Johnson has the ability to play the stretch four position, though, he is primarily a small forward. During his rookie campaign, he spent time at the two-spot, so the versatility is there. Known for his defense, Johnson had a solid DBPM with 1.6 considering his limited time. Playing within the team offense and not turning it over has been a staple as to why he has stuck around in the pros, despite not living up to the bill of a fourth overall selection.
Weaknesses: Wesley had career low percentages from behind the arc and overall from the field. He shot an abysmal 36.5% from the field, and an even worse 24.6% from behind the arc. That played a part in his limited time, however, his defense was just as bad. Opponents shot 5.6% better from the field when Johnson was guarding them, including 29.6% from behind the three-point range. That isn’t what a team that has aspirations of cracking the Western Conference Finals needs.
Best Moments: With Chris Paul & Blake Griffin out due to injuries, Johnson got some solid playing time as the Clippers visited the Hawks. Playing in just under 19 minutes, Johnson contributed with nine points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal without a single turnover or foul. He also hit four-of-seven from the field while splitting a pair of three point attempts. He completed the game with a +10, which was tied for third best on the roster.
Worst Moments: With Griffin out, Johnson got an opportunity to start against New Orleans, and netted just over 18 minutes. Johnson scored two points on one-of-seven shooting and finished with -3. To his credit, he grabbed eight boards and only three Clippers finished with a positive plus/minus.
Summary/Outlook: Johnson was a major disappointment for the Clippers during his second stint, taking a step back from the solid spurts he showed during his debut season in the red, white and blue. Going forward, his role with the squad will vary on the production he shows during practice. Preseason will be a major tell on whether he gets any extended playing time. That is, if he isn’t a part of the much speculated Melodrama.
Final Grade: D-. Just a bad season for the versatile swingman.