Keldon Johnson has agreed to a four-year, $80 million contract extension with the Spurs. In the 2021-22 NBA season, the forward averaged 17 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in a total of 75 games played. He was the Spurs’ second-leading scorer last season behind Dejounte Murray. The third-year player also averaged 46.6% shooting from the field and 39.8% from beyond the arc.
The Spurs selected Johnson 29th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. On Oct. 18, 2021, the Spurs exercised Johnson’s $3,873,025 team option for the 2022-23 season. Not to mention, this deal was made because G.M. Brian Wright values the forward’s 3-point shooting.
At the end of June, the team traded Murray and Jock Landale to the Hawks for Danilo Gallinari, a 2023 first-round draft pick, a 2025 first-round draft pick, a 2026 first-round draft pick and a 2027 first-round draft pick. Of course, Gallinari was later waived. So, Johnson’s new contract is justified.
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Keldon Johnson recorded career-high numbers last season
Furthermore, in the Spurs’ 102-96 loss to the Nuggets on Oct. 22, 2021, Johnson scored a then career-high 27 points in 37 minutes played. He shot 12-for-18 from the floor. Then, in the team’s 157-153 overtime win over the Wizards on Feb. 25, the forward posted a new career-high 32 points in 46 minutes of action.
Offensively, Johnson’s best performance came on Mar. 14, when the Spurs defeated the Timberwolves 149-139. The forward finished his outing with a career-high 34 points in 37 minutes played. He ended his night 13-for-21 shooting from the field.
Since Murray was traded to the Hawks, Johnson will become the No. 1 option in San Antonio. After the forward helped Team USA win gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, head coach Gregg Popovich was impressed by Johnson’s performances.
The forward needed a breakout season, and the 22-year-old proved to basketball enthusiasts why he deserved a pay raise after his play during the 2021-22 season. Keldon Johnson reached career-high numbers in points, rebounds, assists, made field goals and minutes played per game.
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Spurs are aiming to make the playoffs in the 2022-23 NBA season
Last season, the Spurs finished 34-48 (.415) and ranked 10th overall in the Western Conference standings. While they qualified for a play-in tournament spot, the Spurs went on to lose to the Pelicans 113-103 at Smoothie King Center during the tournament.
In the 2022 NBA Draft, the Spurs selected Jeremy Sochan at No. 9, Malaki Branham at No. 20 and Blake Wesley at No. 25. Then, in the second round, the team picked Kennedy Chandler at No. 38. Though, his draft rights were immediately traded to the Grizzlies.
Moreover, Sochan was named Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year and selected to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team in 2022. He averaged 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game with Baylor last season.
Plus, Branham was selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team and Third Team All-Big Ten in 2022. Also, he won Big Ten Freshman of the Year. In the 2021-22 season, the guard/forward averaged 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2 assists per game with Ohio State.
Lastly, while at Notre Dame, Wesley was selected to the ACC All-Rookie Team and was named Second Team All-SEC last season. The guard averaged 14.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game in his freshman year. Other news articles related to Keldon Johnson or the Spurs are on the main page.
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