Despite the ’48 hour’ deadline that Nate McMillan supposedly gave after Summer League, it is now weeks later that the Portland Trail Blazers officially announce the signing of Armon Johnson. Johnson was drafted 34th by the Blazers in the 2nd round of the 2010 Draft. Johnson is the 14th Blazer under contract for the 2010-11 season. The signing of Johnson all but seals the fate in Portland of one Patty Mills. It was a tight race between the two, but many believe it was Johnson’s performance during the 2010 Summer League the sealed the spot for him. Considering all of the hurdles the Blazers went through just to make sure they could draft him, one could think this decision had been made a while back.
Johnson is a much better fit for the Portland Trail Blazers than Patty Mills was. This is no offense to Mills, who if you ask me is an incredibly talented player. It’s his lack of ability to play a pure PG that hurt his chances in Portland. Mills could easily be a great game-changing talent in a different system, say a Phoenix, New York or Golden State…but let’s be honest, how many basketball players could we attach systems and teams to? Simply put, Johnson’s ceiling is a lot higher than Patty Mills. His ability to create for himself and others, combined with the fact that his length and athleticism could cause havoc on the defensive end and it was a near no-brainer for the Blazers. Johnson will obviously be third on the PG depth chart behind Andre Miller and Jerryd Bayless. However he is cheap insurance whether there is an injury or a trade, so this is a thumbs up for the Blazers.