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News » Johnson ready to run with Raptors after second deal of summer 2009-08-22

Johnson ready to run with Raptors after second deal of summer 2009-08-22

Johnson ready to run with Raptors after second deal of summer  2009-08-22The first trade may have shocked him, the second he kind of saw coming and as Amir Johnson arrives at his third NBA home inside of the last two months, he's smart enough to know one thing: he'll rent in Toronto rather than buy.

After all, who could blame the 6-foot-11 forward-centre, obtained by the Raptors this week in a four-player transaction with the Milwaukee Bucks, for worrying about his long-term employment opportunities?

Johnson ended the season with the Detroit Pistons and, because he was seen as a building block for whatever restructuring was going on, he felt at least a bit comfortable.

But the Pistons, rebuilding much of their team, let Rasheed Wallace walk and dealt Johnson to Milwaukee in a salary dump so they could bring in free agents Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon.

Johnson lasted less than eight weeks with the Bucks and figured his time there was at an end when they got free agent Hakim Warrick.

"In the back of my mind, I knew anything could happen when they got another (player) at my position," Johnson said on a conference call yesterday.

Enter the Raptors , who needed frontcourt depth behind Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, Rasho Nesterovic and Reggie Evans and someone to battle Patrick O'Bryant for whatever minutes remain.

GM Bryan Colangelo turned one asset not interested in the role the Raptors had for him (Carlos Delfino) and a point guard destined for spot duty at best (Roko Ukic) into Johnson and guard Sonny Weems.

"I heard they (the Raptors ) are looking to get up and down the floor a little bit more," said Johnson.

Johnson's job in Toronto is really undefined more than a month before training camp even opens. He's quick, rather than bulky, has played both forward and centre in his four years in Detroit and, at age 22, he's far from a finished product. Just as importantly, his contract expires next summer and his presence continues to give Colangelo some financial flexibility next summer.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: August 22, 2009


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