Raptors trade James Johnson to Kings for second-round pick
Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – With the acquisition of Landry Fields from the free-agent market and the impending return of Linas Kleiza, the Toronto Raptors suddenly became crowded at the wing positions.
To create breathing room and additional salary cap space, the Raptors have traded forward James Johnson to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for a 2014 second-round draft pick.
“The addition of Landry Fields and Terrence Ross created some crowding at the wing positions,” said Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo. “This move frees up minutes for our players under contract, increases our financial flexibility and opens up a roster spot to address other needs.”
Johnson is scheduled to earn $2.8 million in 2012-13, the final year of his current contract. He averaged 9.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.1 steals and led the team in blocks with 1.4 swats per game last season
Johnson was drafted 16th overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2009 and was traded to Toronto during his second season.
But he became expendable after the Raptors signed Landry Fields to a $20 million contract and the expected return of Kleiza from injury.
The 6-7, 215-pound Fields has averaged 9.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 148 games over two seasons with the New York Knicks. He was selected to the NBA’s all-rookie team in 2010-11 and was twice named Eastern Conference rookie of the month.
The 25-year-old Johnson joins a frontcourt that includes DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, Chuck Hayes and rookie Thomas Robinson. With his versatility, the 6-foot-9 Johnson can play both forward spots.
“We’re excited to add a talent like James to our young nucleus of players,” said Kings general manager Geoff Petrie in a statement. “He’s an outstanding defender with athleticism who can play at both positions up front while providing some versatility offensively and adding a dimension to what we can do on the floor.”