Trey Johnson spent the preseason with the Los Angeles Lakers and, after playing the regular season with the NBA Development League's Bakersfield Jam, it looks like he'll spend the postseason with the Lakers as well.
Johnson will be signed for the remainder of the season by the Lakers, a source close to the situation told Ridiculous Upside, after averaging 25.5 points, 4.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds in 39 games for the Jam during the regular season. In Bakersfield's lone playoff game so far this season, Johnson scored 29 points to lead the Jam to a 110-105 upset victory over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
This will be his second call-up of the season after playing with the Toronto Raptors earlier this year. In the past, he's also played with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the regular season as well as for the Los Angeles Clippers during last year's Vegas Summer League.
I've written extensively about Johnson it the past, but as D-League Digest's Joey Whelan noted earlier this season, it's difficult to explain why Johnson had to toil so long in the D-League after playing as efficiently as he did this season.
Johnson can play both guard spots, but has been more of an off-guard with the Jam this year due to their already having two point guards on the roster -- and the team's need for a go-to scorer. The generously listed at 6-foot-5 guard led the NCAA in scoring as senior at Jackson State in 2007 and has slowly upped his scoring average over his four (abbreviated) seasons in the D-League from 11.8 points per game in 2007-08 to 20.7 the following year, 21.3 last season and his league-leading 25.5 scoring average this season.
Johnson, a leading D-League MVP candidate, told me in January that he was confident that God would put him in a positive situation sooner or later.
"I'm not saying that if I sign a 10-day contract, I'm expecting to go in and play so many minutes. I just want, even if I'm not playing or dressing, the chance to show them that I'm working and what I can bring to the table," Johnson said. "Even if I'm just used to push guys in practice or being a great teammate, I'm working toward another NBA opportunity. I just feel like what I bring is what you want to have out of an 11th, 12th or 13th guy on the roster: somebody who you don't have to worry about if they're going to be ready when you need them, who isn't going to be a headache or get in any trouble and I feel like I can do that -- I know that I can do that."
While Johnson probably won't be counted on too heavily to play in the postseason for the Lakers, it's a solid opportunity -- and a chance for a championship ring in the NBA as opposed to the D-League ring he was vying for down the road in Bakersfield.