Alize Johnson Earns New Deal with Brooklyn Nets
After two 10-day contracts, forward signed to multi-year contract
After making a strong impression through two 10-day contracts, Alize Johnson will be a Net for the rest of the season as Brooklyn announced on Sunday that the 6-foot-7, 212-pound forward has been signed to a multi-year deal.
“We played against each other in college, with the same agency and now here we are, we went through predraft together, were roommates at the draft combine in Chicago,” said Landry Shamet after Friday’s practice. “So really happy for him. (He’s) been playing well and created some opportunities for himself so whatever happens past this point happens. He knows that, it's the NBA, but he's put a good product on the table and teams would be stupid not to scoop him up. So he's a good player and I'm happy for him.”
Johnson’s signing for the rest of the season gives Brooklyn a full complement of 15 players — plus two two-way contracts — to close out a season in which in which the Nets have had some roster churn, with 26 different players appearing in a game.
“When I got here, I came right in and they just made me feel comfortable in my first game in Utah, just telling me to go out there and play really hard and play with some energy and be confident,” said Johnson on Friday afternoon following practice. “So hearing that from Steve (Nash) and James (Harden), and the other guys like Jeff (Green), it just made me feel confident, made me feel comfortable right away. And I was offered a second 10-day. So it's been a blessing, like I've said, and just want to continue to keep proving to them that I belong and I want to be here.”
Johnson first signed with the Nets on a 10-day contract on March 22 and made his debut on March 24 with 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting plus 15 rebounds, three assists, and two steals against Utah. He signed a second 10-day contract on April 1.
In last Monday’s win against the Knicks, with the Nets shorthanded due to injuries, including losing Harden four minutes into the game, Johnson came through with 12 points and seven rebounds. He followed up with six points and six rebounds against the Pelicans, both Nets wins. Johnson is shooting 65.7 percent through six games.
“We’re pretty comfortable in what we have with Alize,” said Nash prior to Wednesday’s game against New Orleans. “He’s been outstanding, works hard, plays with incredible energy, he's a great teammate. So he's been really productive in the minutes he's gotten so we feel confident in him as a player. He's a great kid. We love having him in our clubhouse. We love when he gets a chance to play and think he's a player that can help us.”
While both Durant and Kyrie Irving were out when Johnson made his impressive debut against Utah, he’s had a chance to take the court with them this week. When Johnson gave the Nets a boost with eight second-quarter points in the win over the Knicks, the first three baskets came off assists from Irving.
“These are guys growing up playing 2K with,” said Johnson. “So when you get out there on the floor and you’re playing with them, it's dope, and I got a chance to play pickup with Kyrie and KD before I got out there on the court with them. So I had a little bit of time to get used to them. And it's just been a blessing getting to guard them in practice and being around a great group of guys. I just feel like I can keep getting better.”
Originally drafted 50th overall out of Missouri State by the Pacers in 2018, Johnson played 36 games over two seasons with Indiana. Before joining the Nets this season, he started all 15 games for Raptors 905 during the condensed G League season, averaging 16.6 points and 13.3 rebounds to help Raptors 905 to a 12-3 record and the top seed in the G League playoffs. Johnson was named to the All-NBA G League Second Team.
In getting a second NBA shot with the Nets, he’s taken advantage of his opportunity so far.
“Just try to go out there and have a chip on my shoulder, go out there and play and I want to do whatever it takes to come right in and have a huge impact,” said Johnson. “And it's been nice to get an opportunity. I appreciate the organization and Steve for giving me that.”
Catch the Brooklyn Nets this Season