Bulls sign draft picks Johnson and Gibson

Bulls sign draft picks Johnson and Gibson

Draft Central

July 9, 2009 - The Chicago Bulls announced today the signings of 2009 first round draft picks James Johnson and Taj Gibson. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Johnson (6-9, 245) was drafted 16th overall by Chicago after spending two seasons at Wake Forest. In his two seasons with the Demon Deacons, he started 59 of his 61 appearances and averaged 14.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.6 apg and 1.44 bpg. He also shot .514 from the field and .692 from the free throw line. As a sophomore, he led Wake Forest in rebounds (8.5 rpg) and field goal percentage (.542) and was second on the team in scoring (15.0 ppg). Johnson, 22, was named Third-Team All-ACC after both his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Gibson (6-9, 225) was the Bulls' second selection in NBA Draft 2009 and the 26th pick overall. He played in 105 games over three seasons with Southern California and averaged 12.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.41 bpg, 1.5 apg and shot .580 from the floor. The Second-Team All-Conference and Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year led the Trojans in many categories as a junior in 2008-09, including marks of 9.0 rpg, 2.86 bpg, and .601 field goal shooting. Gibson, 24, is USC's all-time leader in shots blocked with 253 (2.41 bpg), and also ranks third all-time in the Pac-10 Conference in blocks.

Both rookies will make their professional debuts when the Bulls open their 2009 NBA Summer League schedule in Las Vegas on July 14 versus Golden State.

Johnson will wear No. 16 and Gibson, No. 22.