2022 All-Star Reserves Announced
Former Tennessee star and current NBA rookie Keon Johnson is on the move before the conclusion of his first full season. After being taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Johnson is being traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Portland Trail Blazers.
In a report on Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski announced that the Clippers are trading away Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson, and a future second-round pick to Portland. In return, the Trail Blazers will be sending Norman Powell and Robert Covington to Los Angeles.
Johnson has collected 15 in-game appearances with the Clippers throughout his rookie season. During those 15 games, Johnson has averaged 3.5 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 0.9 assists in about nine minutes per game.
On a career-high scoring night, Johnson’s best game of his NBA career so far came just before the New Year, on Dec. 27, when the Clippers lost to the Brooklyn Nets. Even in the loss, the former Tennessee guard had over 17 minutes of action on the court and ended the game with 15 points, two rebounds, and two assists.
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Although he did score nine points on Jan. 3 against Minnesota, Johnson’s game against Brooklyn is the one double-digit scoring game of his NBA career.
After being drafted by the Clippers, Los Angeles did send Johnson to the G-League this season for a stretch of time. Johnson started all seven games he played in for the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario and ended up with 15.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game in an average of 31.1 minutes on the court.
Johnson’s co-star on the Tennessee team, Jaden Springer, was also selected in the first round of the NBA Draft after his freshman season in Knoxville. Springer was taken with the 28th overall pick in the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Just like Keon Johnson, Springer also started all seven NBA G-League games he played in for the Delaware Blue Coats. During those seven games, Springer averaged 18.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in about 34.3 minutes per game.
Looking ahead to the 2022 NBA Draft, the Vols have another freshman point guard who will likely be NBA-bound after just one season in Knoxville. Tennessee guard Kennedy Chandler, the top-ranked point guard from his recruiting class, will very likely be taken in the first round of this year’s draft in June. However, over the last two months, Chandler has been sliding in some of the more recent NBA mock drafts.