Blazers young player to give up on: Keon Johnson
Portland has remained committed to shooting guard Keon Johnson, a player whose development has been less than stellar. Despite showing flashes of potential, Johnson’s overall performance raises questions about whether the Blazers should continue investing in his development.
Add in the fact that the Blazers have a glut of more talented guards on the roster, and Johnson isn’t worth the continued effort.
A 6-foot-3 shooting guard, Johnson had a mixed season with the Blazers, averaging 4.7 points and 1.5 assists in 10.4 minutes per game. His shooting percentages were modest: 37.6 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from beyond the arc. These numbers do not reflect the consistency and reliability the Blazers need from their backup shooting guard.
Johnson’s offensive inconsistency is a significant concern. He shot 59.6 percent from inside five feet but struggled from almost every other distance. This lack of offensive reliability limits his effectiveness on the court and hampers the Blazers’ offensive flow.
Despite a promising three-game stretch toward the end of the season, Johnson’s overall performance does not inspire confidence in his long-term development.
Defensively, Johnson gives a strong effort, but his defensive rating of 119.3 last season indicates room for improvement. Johnson’s defensive performance needs to add more value for a Blazers team with many skilled offensive guards with defensive shortcomings.
Johnson’s limited offensive game and defensive shortcomings make him a less attractive option to be the Blazers’ fourth guard when plenty of veterans could join the team in a leadership role to help develop Simons, Sharpe and Henderson in the likely absence of Lillard.