Trey Johnson Rumors

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Regardless of how negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement turn out, however, Johnson definitely won’t play in the NBA at all for at least one year. That’s because, as ESPN Los Angeles’ Dave McMenamin first reported, Johnson’s contract doesn’t have an opt-out clause even if the lockout ends early enough so that all or at least part of the 2011-2012 season remains intact. “I definitely wanted an opt-out clause, but they were reluctant to give me one,” Johnson said. “A lot of European teams won’t give you one unless you’re a big NBA guy. We definitely tried for it, but they didn’t want to give it to me. I just have to make the most of the situation. Hopefully by next year, I’ll be a better player and the opportunity is still there for me in the NBA.”
For the last few days, Trey Johnson found himself weighing his many playing options for the future. He joined the Lakers as a late-season pickup from the D-League just before the playoffs last season and even impressed Phil Jackson enough to earn actual playing time. Even without an NBA contract and any official word from the Lakers on what his future would entail, Johnson still believed he’d retain a roster spot. Still, with the NBA lockout looming for an uncertain period of time, Johnson signed a one-year deal Wednesday with the Teramo Basket of the Italian League. “I didn’t know if I wanted to commit myself that early,” Johnson said in a phone interview Thursday. “I definitely feel like I’m an NBA player and that I worked hard to get to where I’m at. I didn’t want to feel like I was giving up on that so soon. I don’t feel like I’m giving up on it. It’s just a situation where I have to make a business decision and do what’s best for me and my family at the moment. We don’t know how long our season will be or if we really have a season.”
Lakers guard Trey Johnson is heading to Italy to play basketball next season. Johnson, a late-season call-up by the Lakers from the D-League last year, signed a one-year deal with Teramo Basket of the Italian League on Wednesday. Johnson’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, told that his client’s contract does not include an opt-out clause to return to the NBA should the lockout be resolved in time for the league to hold all or part of the 2011-12 season.
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, according to a source close to the situation, 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. As D-League Digest’s Joey Whelan noted earlier this season, it’s difficult to explain why Johnson’s still in the D-League after playing as efficiently as he has thus far 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.
The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed guard Trey Johnson to a second 10-day contract. Johnson was signed to his original 10-day contract on January 26. He has appeared in five games with Toronto averaging 4.0 points, 1.6 assists and 12.6 minutes. He totaled a high of 10 points in Friday’s victory versus Minnesota. Johnson, 6-foot-5, 215 pounds is the leading scorer in the D-League this season averaging 25.8 points for the Bakersfield Jam. He has scored in double-digits in each of his 26 games, posting 20 or more points on 22 occasions and 30 or more in five games and a season-best 43 on December 15 at Austin. Johnson is also averaging 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting .510 percent from the field.
Unfortunately for the Mississippi native and high school teammate of the Cleveland Cavalier’s Mo Williams, Johnson has yet to translate his D-League success into a solid opportunity at the next level. He’s enjoyed short stints, however, as he’s had a few cups of coffee in the NBA via training camp invites from the New Orleans Hornets in 2007, the Phoenix Suns in 2008 and the Los Angeles Lakers this past October along with a couple of 10-day contracts from the Cavaliers during the 2008-09 season. His phone could soon be ringing again, though, perhaps as soon as Wednesday when 10-day contracts become available for the first time this season. According to one NBA scout speaking to FanHouse earlier this week, Johnson’s could be a hot commodity for NBA teams looking for a scoring boost, calling him a “pure scorer with the ability to play a little … point guard, too.” “With what Reggie Williams did last year,” the scout noted, “it wouldn’t surprise me to see someone give him a chance to go out and just put up points.”
Lakers rookie small forward Devin Ebanks had four points in 22 minutes in his NBA Development League debut with the Bakersfield Jam on Tuesday night. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was on hand to watch, according to KERO-TV. The player who might’ve caught Kupchak’s eye more was Lakers training-camp invitee Trey Johnson, who scored 27 points in the Jam’s victory. With the trade of Sasha Vujacic, the Lakers could be in position to need a guard such as Johnson if they were to suffer an injury.