A young college basketball player from Oregon is joining the Portland Trail Blazers.
Kendall Johnson, a 6-foot-7 forward from Portland State University, is expected to be an immediate upgrade over his teammate, LaQuinton Ross, who played at Oregon State.
Johnson has averaged 7.5 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22 games for the Blazers this season.
Johnson and Ross both were projected as lottery picks this year.
Both are projected to be in the first round, with the Blazers expected to have a pick in the top 20.
The Blazers are hoping to land a player like Johnson who can contribute immediately in a crowded backcourt.
Johnson’s best attribute is his athleticism, as he’s shown he can play the pick-and-roll at the NBA level.
He’s a solid defender and can play off the ball, something he needs to develop.
Johnson’s game is a bit of a work in progress.
He’ll need to add some strength and add some weight to his frame to get to his potential, but he can still develop into a valuable contributor for the Trail Blazers going forward.
Johnson is expected by the Blazers to make an immediate impact for the team, which could be something that will help them land a top-20 pick.
If the Blazers want to land someone like Johnson, it would be a nice sign for the future of the team and for Portland, as the team is trying to rebuild its roster after trading out of the first pick in this year’s draft.