Forum Thread

“James Johnson is a strong, athletic and versatile small forward that we have had our eye on dating back to the 2009 NBA Draft,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo.


+ Athletic player who can finish at rim and has scorer’s attack mentality.

+ Erratic performer who gets completely out of control driving to basket..

+ Inconsistent outside shooter and wildly foul-prone defender. Looked a bit heavy.

Johnson may be the most high-mistake perimeter player I’ve ever seen — he led all small forwards in both turnover ratio and fouls per minute. His whopping 17.7 turnover ratio was the worst of any perimeter player’s, except for Memphis’ Jamaal Tinsley’s. No other wing player climbed above 15.0.

On the foul side of the ledger, Johnson committed a foul every 6.0 minutes, a shockingly high rate for any position and an absoltely extraordinary one for a wing. The closest wing player to that number, Denver’s Joey Graham, was whistled once every 7.3 minutes.

Johnson did accumulated the highest rate of blocks among wings, and was able to create shots at a decent rate. His shooting percentages weren’t bad either. In other words, if he can just bring some semblance of control to his game, there’s enough ability there to be a rotation player. Nobody knows if that will happen, but glass-half-full types will note that rookies with high turnover rates tend to make stronger progress in Year 2 than their peers.

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  • Adam

    We traded a first round pick for someone I’ve never heard of. Damn.

    • Brian Colangelo

      I really don’t think your knowledge of basketball (or lack thereof) should be the gauge for evaluating a trade.

      • lakonomy

        don’t you spell your name “bryan”?

      • Adam

        I defer to your knowledge of guys who are nailed to the bench and are sent down to D-league.

      • Adam

        However, neither do I trust that we can pull a rotation player out of the late first round with our scouting/drafting history. If Johnson can crack our rotation, I suppose it’s for the best. Worst case scenario is expiring contract or trade throw in I guess.

        • draftedraptor

          true. our scouting is pretty bad. Giving away second round and late first round picks for nba ready players is not a bad idea.

    • Yeah….this one can be chalked up to your lack of knowledge. 16th overall pick from same draft year as DD. Not a bad trade if Johnson can make a connection with the rest of the youngsters on this team.

  • $1.8m owed for next season versus Miami’s 27th-ish pick.
    Numbers to date are underwhelming to say the least, but a savvy GM picked him 16th. Worth a flier for low risk (weakish draft, late pick) given how weak we are at the SF position.

  • Dabarnz

    Wow, we just traded a first rounder for this guy?

    Can anyone tell me why we just went out and grabbed an asset which is a carbon copy of all of our other players?

    • Yep

      It was Miami’s first rounder, and would most likely be a really late pick, which wouldn’t land us a good player considering this is one of the weaker drafts, and there is a huge fall-off after the first 10.

    • KJ-B

      Essentially, with all the players available at SF in the upcoming draft none of them are to their like as much as James Johnson… So this tells me they’re hoping for Kyrie and will draft a center if they don’t get him…

    • Latiffa

      carbon copy? – do you imply the carbon as in diamond kind of strength or graffitti? bloody nonsense but whatever.

      jj is a nice player who has all the tools to play BIG but doesnt do so because of mental lapses. these type of players always are a gamble.

      you bet on physical potential versus mental strength.
      read ron artest signing to lakers or rasheed wallace to pistons. bayless of our own would be the most recent example.
      if anything colangelo proved to be very shrewd at this type trades. think of araujo for humprhies or bonner for nesterovic. best trades hes made so far were minor deals like these.

      • Carbon

        plus one!

      • Dabarnz

        Carbon copying, abbreviated cc or c.c., is the technique of using carbon paper to produce one or more copies simultaneously during the creation of paper documents. With the advent of email, the term has also come to refer to simultaneously sending copies of an electronic message to secondary recipients.

        Just a figure of speech, irrelevant though. I was just saying that our roster has a log jam of very similar players on it, and if these type of players are not winning us games why would BRYCO go get mmore of the same?

  • Darien

    Basically BC is gambling, but with miami’s low pick, it’s worth a shot.

    • KJ-B


    • Carbon


  • WhatWhat

    Power shift in the east.

    • AwesomeGuest

      LOL. James Johnson is our future!

  • DonCarlos

    Johnson is likely a better player than anyone that could have been picked up with that pick in the draft. He’s known as a tough guy and strong individual defender, and he’s played for good defensive Bulls teams. Johnson is absolutely not a carbon copy of Sonny, Demar and Wright. He’s likely closest to Wright out of those three.

    • tonious35

      Hope so… but if he struggles, is it him or our obsolete coaching system?

  • John

    “On the foul side of the ledger, Johnson committed a foul every 6.0 minutes, a shockingly high rate for any position and an absoltely extraordinary one for a wing.”

    I hope AB Haters do not come out here in 2 weeks and claim that ” This ” Johnson fouls on high rate just like the other “Almighty” Johnson because AB 😉 🙂

    Another masterpiece of a trade by Mr.Colangelo 😉

  • ad

    Just another stupid and pointless BC move. This guy couldn’t even be a back up SF in CHI. I guess BC will automatically add him to the “great young core”. Its pathetic the kinds of players this team goes after.

  • Ruuuuuuuuuuuuu

    Nothing to be excited about. He’s smaller, older, and no better potential than Julian Wright. Plus JuJu is well liked by his teammates, and fits better on the court with his passsing skills

    • KJ-B

      Whatever–Julian Still can’t hit a jumper–JAMES JOHNSON CAN DO IT ALL…He just needs pt!

    • Latiffa

      j wright is a rfa after this seson. his qualifying offer is aroud $3M. i suggest we forget about who this guy, he is a draft selection casualty.

  • black angus

    There must have been someone better available for a first round pick – or at least package the first round pick with an expiring contract to get a better asset

  • Ryan

    I think BC’s new fetish is for guys named Johnson.

  • Mike D

    Another “slam dunk” for BC. What a nucleus we have compiled. I can hardly wait for next year.

    • matt

      I’m sorry, but at what angle does it seem we have gotten a dunk out of this deal? If anything he pulled a Glen Davis

  • Guneet


  • Balls of Steel

    “James Johnson is a strong, athletic and versatile small forward that we have had our eye on dating back to the 2009 NBA Draft”

    Ahh, the soothing words of a GM that should be on his way out.

  • Qb5phila

    Stupid move when we could have packaged that first rounder with someone else to at least get a decent veteran presence.

  • Mike D

    I haven’t felt this good since we landed Alexi Ajinca.

  • Bendit

    The Bulls are a far more advanced team than the Raps. Thibodeau is apparently not willing to deal with mistakes. Worth the pick I think..he can be both a 3 or 4 and unlike Wright can create his own shot.

    • KJ-B

      some1 ON here knows a lil bit about the game and other players in the L–good to see… James Johnson is a player but he was stuck behind Luol Deng who’s a stud!

      • Bendit

        …and other bigs Boozer, Asik, Gibson

  • Statement

    I laugh at that thread indicating that Bayless had swagger and such and we should keep him on.

    There is a reason this dude was passed over by 2 other teams (better teams than us BTW, I’d argue with better scouting departments too)

    Bayless is an undersized shooting guard…and that’s it. A 16.4% career turnover rate…come on man, that fucking sucks.

    Swagger + Bayless = immaturity.

  • Guest

    James Johnson is not like Julian Wright. Much bigger frame for similar height, much more potential on offence, not as good defensively at this stage. More potential to play the 4 on occasion. If he can develop a shot then maybe he’s a consistent rotation player (was a better shooter in college).

    With James Johnson on the team we can move to a “wings & things” offence rotating guys in as undersized 4s to spell our more traditional bigs. I say more traditional because we don’t have a single traditional big on the roster except maybe Ajinca.

  • Statement

    I swear to god, I’m going to be an alcoholic by the end of this year.

  • Pesterm1

    i cant believe there are so many whiners here, just sickening… it was a very low pick this is a good move, could really pay off in a year. so mamny people complain just to be heard on this site…..

    • WJF

      Plus if he does not work out he comes off the books earlier or can be used as an expiring deal in a trade.

  • Arminjm

    it is a 27th pick for gods sake. Who did you expect them to get?! I bet most of you guys have never watched him play in college. The guy was a decent player in college but he did not get a chance to prove himself in NBA. He average 15 points and 8.5 rebounds in his second year in college.
    I don’t think Amir’s stats was much better that his when his got here. Give the guy a chance and I bet he’ll surprise you.

    • Statement

      It’s a lose lose situation. The Raptors scouting department would have muffed the pick. They also have muffed the trade.

      2nd round potential = Dejuan Blair, Landry Fields if you have a good scouting team.

      Nobody cares to hear this but Dave Berri’s PAWS college stat predicted that Fields and Blair should be good players. Maybe we should hire that guy instead of the Collar-wearing fuckhead.

      Why can’t Anthopolous run the Raptors?

      • Arminjm

        I understand that but for every Blair and fields , there are 30 other players who won’t make it into the third year.

        • Statment

          You are certainly right,

          However, I think that the Raptors competitive advantage should come in scouting. They should definitely mix it with statistical analysis.

          Do like the Jays…hire a million scouts and improve the ability to pick the Dejuan’s and the Field’s out of the field.

          They are there…just find them.

          • Arminjm

            I totally agree with you. I would love to see raptors find those kind of players but I doubt they ever will. I mean, raptors never drafted a decent second second round pick. So until we find qualified scouts, I rather we take a risk on players whom at one point other scouts thought had top 2o talent in draft.

            • Sam

              And that’s why I think BC should go. The tearing down part of a rebuild is easier than the actual rebuilding part and his scouting is mediocre at best. I realize he had some decent picks in Phoenix but there were some strange moves (like trading away Deng when he would have cost less money than what they ended up using). Since he’s come to Toronto, he has not drafted very well.

      • Statement

        Let me just say that I think that Colangelo is doing the right thing by eliminating cap space and playing young players.

        The only hitch is that they have to be GOOD young players.

        Bayless is not. Ajinca is not. James Johnson is not.

        You can’t just allow young players to play on your time to develop unless you want to become a feeder to the better teams in the league. I fear that Fluxland was right, we are just a feeder team.

        Which good team should I cheer for. Chicago is a good choice. Rose isn’t playing like an MVP (he’s playing at a little better level than Calderon), but the team is balanced. If the Rose for MVP crap gets toned down then I can cheer for them.

        Obviously Chris Paul and Steve Nash are much better PGs then Rose, so quit the MVP talk Devlin you f’n moron.

        Okay, I’ll cheer for Chicago then, just watch the games on mute.

    • Statement

      Dude, Amir never played in College.

      • Arminjm

        I never said he did. I said he never got chance to prove himself before he came to Toronto. He averaged around 3 points and 3 rebs for pistons.

        • Statement

          Fair enough, you are right. I misread your post.

          But the stats say that Johnson sucks ass.

          Amir was always a good player, he just never got the time.

          James Johnson got some time and he sucked.

          He’s like Bayless – a waste.

          Colangelo is trying to catch lighting in a bottle. I guess if the trade-off is the 30th pick in the 1st round it’s not bad…

          but again I remind you…. Dejuan Blair was 2nd round and so was Landry Fields.

          • Statement

            Also if you look at Colangelo’s drafting record

            I count five good players:

            Stoudamire (who isn’t a good player anymore)

            Shawn Marion

            Marcin Gortat

            Michael Finlay

            Obviously Steve Nash

            Thats from 1995 to 2010 – 15 years.

            Is that a good haul for an NBA GM? I’m not sure but I don’t think so.

    • sleepz

      I watched him at Wake. I liked him there when him and Aminu were together. Colangelo had a lot of interest in him before last years draft.

      Look at this current Raptor roster. 3 PF’s, a dude playing center they are claiming is a PF but is most likely a 3 in a 5’s body and 4 SF’s.

      Get that extension ready folks as Colangelo is as much an architect as Costanza.

      • Nilanka15

        Art Van Delay?

  • JW

    Chicago’s 26th pick Taj Gibson is getting 20+ minutes for them, and played 5 playoff games @ 30 minutes. So its not like they dont know how to develop players, they just think this guy is a discard, and would rather have our pick. I don’t know why people think this is a good trade.

    This is not a fresh player. Milsap and Arenas though low picks, came out of the gate fast. This guy can’t even earn playing time. Joey Grahm was one of our beter athletes too, with good hops. Just a waste of a 1st rounder on someone’s left overs.

    If the coach does not like you, and you are a hard working player, the way JJ supposedly is. That is a RED FLAG. Coaches usually like hard workers. We gots robbbed. Bryan got fleeced for his pick again.

    • hound

      Jimmer Fredette (NCAA scoring leader, could play the 2 and sub at point), Kyle Singler (4 year starter at Duke can play the 2 or small forward with decent shot and huge heart), Nolan Smith ( as good at the point as Irving right now, not as much upside), Klay Thompson (leading scorer in Pac-10, could play 2 or 3) These are the type of guys we could get at the 27th pick. Not counting someone else who slides. This is an under the radar trade that BC hopes will be forgotten when one of the above mentioned guys turns into a solid NBA player. It is just easier for BC to do this trade than to do his job picking the right player in the draft. I would much rather take my chances with the 27th pick than trade for a guy who has been discarded.

      • Guest

        Fredette will go higher. The other guys and JJ are basically a wash. BC prefers big bodies and athletes and Johnson has some of both. He looked great against the raptors ealier this year. I know, who doesn’t, right? But still…

      • Statement

        I don’t know about anybody but Irving.

      • tonious35

        Hope we get someone else’s late first round draft pick then…if it’s possible

    • Smushmush

      Omer Asik(a rookie at that) too is playing for Thibbodeau and getting his minutes. James Johnson not getting minutes on a young Bulls team is a huge RED FLAG. BC like a gambler is gambling on getting a “lightning in a bottle” in one of Ajinca, Bayless and now James Johnson. It is time to chase way this compulsive losing gambler, we have in BC imo.

      • Arminjm

        Omer Asik is a 24 years old rookie who played professional basketball in turkey since he was 19. He also played for Turkey in FIBA World Championship. You can’t compare these two.

  • Smushmush

    This trade shows the kind of trades BC does now which is why he needs to go. “Nuff said. fyi, I just finished watching the carnage of a game against the bobcats(I am really sad right now, a 5 year old can do a better job than BC has done in 5 years, just saying).

  • joey

    i don’t accept the fact that the miami pick will be a low first rounder hence we can assume it will not be a great or even goo player even for this draft – tell you a bit about raps scouting and player development.

    • tonious35

      Our scouting of the late 1st rounds and 2nd rounders have been atrocious since day one. Tell me why the Spurs (G.Hill, Neal, Blair, Splitter) and Jazz (CJ Miles, Millsap) always get better or maintain quality teams when they can never usually get a top ten pick?

      • jimmie

        Because they can afford to gamble on picks (they’re already playoff perennials, so draft picks can be stashed or developed through practice). The Raptors have never had the depth to enjoy such a luxury on draft day.

        People keep citing Dejuan Blair and Paul Millsap, and Utah and San Antonio. Are the Raps the only team in the league that wouldn’t take a risk on a PF with no ACLs and an undersized PF, and therefore the only ones that passed on these “can’t miss” prospects? I’ll wait for your answer.

    • Guest

      I don’t accept the fact that in 12 hours it will be daytime. Fuck the inevitable.

  • tonious35

    If James Johnson is going to be running on our team as an SF and we will be stuck with Kleiza. It should mean that Weems better GTFO… James Johnson better rebound some long loose balls, fight through screens, and dunk the sh$t out of the ball with his 235-245 lb frame in traffic and shoot many FTs.

  • Klkl32

    Will be a minor player on a terrible team. Pop the champagne.

  • Kevin

    Pointless move would have preferred keeping the pick and taking our chances in the draft.

  • Balls of Steel

    BC should now refocus on acquiring DJ Mbenga and Matt Carroll to round out the rebuild. Perhaps he can entice Darrick Martin to come out of retirement to mentor the young Raps with a lil’ veteran leadership.

  • Maurice “Mo” Shats

    love it.

  • Maurice “Mo” Shats

    miami’s pick will be late 20s, and with the raps drafting capabilities in the late 1st round and 2nd round, i’m totally okay with that move.

  • Balls of Steel

    What BC should’ve said regarding JJ:

    “Throw enough noodles on a wall and one of them is likely to stick.”

    • hound

      Exactly, that is what it is. BC hopes like hell one of these clowns plays well and he can look like a hero. All year I looked forward to the draft with hope. Now I am shit scared that he will trade our pick for someone like Kris Kaman. Nothing would surprise me.

    • Statement


  • Highly insignificant. Nobody should be getting worked up by this, one way or another. We need a 3, he plays the 3, he has some upside, we gave up a late first round pick.

  • Ol’ Dirty Raptor

    Here’s an idea: let him play before we judge..

  • FAQ

    Ratpors will never get to the playoffs … for the next decade … or more … sooooo obvious.

  • hateslosing

    Meh, BC is just going to keep collecting young, athletic players for us to take into the off season so the staff can evaluate who is good enough to stay. Ajinca, Alabi, this Johnson, JuJu, Dorsey, and even Weems are guys that BC Basically said, “well we will suck anyway, let’s see if we can find a diamond in the rough”.
    If Johnson can rebound and play D from the three, he’ll be a keeper. I also think this is another example of a guy our staff liked during the draft that year and now they think they can make something of him. It’s not a bad move if he actually manages to play and I don’t think that pick would have been overly helpful anyway.

  • hmm… gives me the same feeling of the Bayless deal….like someone said up there…throw enough noodles on the wall and at least 1 will stick…. its a late first rounder though so no biggie… just wish we had better scouts, why can’t we find players like Landry Fields or Dejaun Blair??? its the only way T.O will grow since no big free agents want to come this way!!

    • C.d.G.

      Not only big free agents, but average ones as well will refuse to come up to Toronto. There’s not a single good reason to join the Raptors, right now, unless you are a discarded player as James Nohnson (and Bayless!).
      Johnson has been totally “weighted-and-found-lacking” in Chicago, and will be a total waste of time for a Raps coaching staff not really famous – anyway – to get the best out of anything!
      As of Alabi, he’s a scandal just by himself for a team like ours. He’s been drafted for no other reasons of acknowledging public value to the African connections of the great Masai Ujiri. What a joke!
      PS = for you all unknowing, Gallinari has nothing to share with Bargnani’s type. I’d be a great acquisition as a 3!

  • Pesterm1

    Everyone hating on this trade looks pretty stupid, if you look at the Bulls Forums on this trade they are saying the exact opposite of what many of you are saying. they are actually unhappy that they gave up Johnson for that draft pick. Many fans were very high on him and truely thought if given the chance johnson would do very well in time. They also talk alot about how good his work ethic is, how he slimmed down since his rookie year and dropped the PF tag alot of ppl put on him, and apparently he has been working wit scottie pippen alot and also “REQUESTED” for playing time in the Dleague because he wanted to play more and continue to get better. I hope johnson prooves many of you wrong , but even if he has great games there will be tons of complainers.. nothing changes around here.

  • Mike_hsg

    You whiners aren’t getting it. Its a money thing. Johnson is a one year rent a player which can be locked up if he atually gets his head together. This years draft class which is considered VERY weak after the top 15 would be comitting 3 YEARS of salary to whoever gets picked. I can see Colangelo buying a top 2nd rounder 31-34 or so with no ontractual obligation. Make sense now?

    • Finally, some logic. Very well said.

      • Mike_hsg

        sorry if it was a difficult post to read, my “C” key is sticky

  • Anteebayroose

    Raptors should fire all its scouting staff and hire new ones

  • KJ-B

    James Johnson can play ball…Unfortunately playing behind Luol Deng, he was under A LOT of pressure–he trained with Scotty Pippen in the offseason and can do it all on the floor–Tyrus Thomas at the small forward…I just hope that his Basketball iQ takes the gigantic leap forward to match his talents…


  • Mike P

    does jim kelly still do alot of the scouting for the raps? if so, i will take james johnson with no questions asked and stick nathan jawai up his ass.

    • Bendit

      Wonder if Kelly has pics of Tanenbaum…he has been a constant since practically day 1.

  • Homer2004

    so we have two johnsons with ability to foul left and right.
    damm BC definily has a neck for finding these guys who are foul pron!!!!

  • “The James Johnson era is over in Chicago. According to the news service, the Bulls have traded him to the Toronto Raptors for the Miami Heat’s first round draft pick, which the Raptors obtained in the sign-and-trade deal that sent Chris Bosh to Miami.

    It’s not exactly shocking that management would ship Johnson for essentially nothing. After all, J.J. has appeared in only 13 games this season and compiled more turnovers (18) than field goals (17). Let’s face it, his stint in the NBA Developmental League notwithstanding, Johnson was a bust-a-rama. He sure isn’t going to make it on to Basketball-Reference’s list of the best players ever traded at midseason.

    And yet…his general bawfulness isn’t why the Bulls dealt him.

    Sure, the Bulls have been scouring the D-League for potential shooting guards, but the guy’s they’re looking at would have serious trouble cracking coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation. So, clearly, management has other gambits in play.” – SOURCE

    apparently a bust? but from what i hear good work ethic, and just didn’t get enough playing time… lets hope for the best!

    • jimmie

      “He was terrific for us,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We didn’t have a whole lot of minutes for him. His attitude was great. He worked extremely hard. He was athletic. I think it’s a good move for the Raptors and for us. It gives us some flexibility moving forward.”