With Jon Leuer recalled by the Cavaliers earlier this week, former NBA first round selection JaJuan Johnson has an opportunity to shine for the Canton Charge and potentially earn himself a call-up of his own.
The Cavaliers recalled forward Jon Leuer on Monday from their NBADL affiliate Canton Charge. The big man averaged 19.5 points and 12.3 rebounds per game while playing for the Charge. He was called up yesterday to Cleveland when Luke Walton was excused to deal with a personal matter.
Leuer scored four points in nine minutes last night during the team's 118-92 loss on Monday against the Bulls. He is a post player with a body type similar to Raef Lafrentz. The big man is skilled and has good court awareness, but struggles to defend legitimate post players that are thicker.
Leuer has a right-handed hook shot, which serves as his "go to" move. He also showed good ability to knock down the mid-range jumper. Leuer is a role player in the NBA; someone that could give 6-10 minutes per game at the present time and increase with continued improvement. He needs to bulk up to be able to defend post players, but is still someone teams will likely be monitoring.
The Bucks drafted Leuer in the second round (40th overall pick) of the 2011 NBA Draft. Leuer signed with the Skyliners Frankfurt club in Germany, but exercised his opt-out clause in order to sign a two-year contract with Milwaukee in December 2011. He played in 46 games for the Bucks in 2011-2012, averaging 4.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 12.1 minutes a contest.
Following the season, Milwaukee traded Leuer to the Rockets, along with Jon Brockman, Shaun Livingston and the 12th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft for Samuel Dalembert and the 14th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. However, the big man was waived by Houston in July and claimed days later by Cleveland.
Former Nets draftee JaJuan Johnson is one of the more talented D-League players. He is a small forward with a frame resembling Marcus Camby. Johnson shows signs of being a very good offensive player. His "go to" moves include a jump hook from either block and a mid-range jumper from the right wing. The hook shot is a high percentage shot for him; he gets good position and releases it similar to Kevin Willis with good extension.
His "sweet spot" is the right elbow and extended off the elbow. Johnson is not always assertive on the offensive end and will disappear at times. He lacks physicality in the paint and generally shies away from contact. The forward is a solid defensive rebounder - he makes minimal contact with defender but "reads" the ball/shot really well. He is athletic and with no doubt in my mind Johnson has NBA talent.
The first overall pick in this year's D-League Draft, Johnson was originally drafted by the New Jersey Nets as the 27th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He was immediately traded to the Boston Celtics along with a 2014 second-round draft pick in exchange for MarShon Brooks. He played in 36 games with the Celtics, averaging 3.2 points and 1.6 rebound in 8.3 minutes per game. The Celtics traded Johnson in July to Houston in a multi-player deal that netted the Celtics Courtney Lee. Houston waived Johnson in late October, which made him available to be selected first overall by Fort Wayne in the D-League Draft.
With Leuer out of town for the moment, this is Johnson's opportunity to prove himself and potentially earn a call-up sometime soon.