Post-game Reactions

Roughly 12 hours ago, I wrote that Chris Johnson getting three minutes against the Sixers probably meant that he was on his way out of Boston. This was a sad moment, the part in a romantic comedy where the main character does something stupid, ruins his awesome relationship and — most likely — will never love again.

But then, the twist: Reports have surfaced this morning that Chris Johnson will be signed for the rest of the year! Everyone goes home happy.

Johnson’s performance has been more than passable — it’s been impressive. His true shooting percentage is through the roof, and he’s throwing his body around the court in pursuit of a full-year contract. A naysayer might wonder if Johnson will be able to keep up that kind of energy now that his contract is guaranteed, but most D-League call-ups know what make them valuable to their team. For Johnson, his value lies in his hustle, his 3-point shooting and his athleticism. It’s hard to imagine him tapering off when his contract will only be guaranteed through the end of the season. That’s the hard life of a fringe NBA player: There’s absolutely no long-term job security, and there’s a legion of talented players willing and waiting to take your place.

For the Celtics, though, this signing is a bit of a gamble.Johnson’s contract, of course, won’t push them over the salary cap luxury tax threshold, but he is now a guaranteed roster spot, which makes trading a little more difficult as we approach the February 20 deadline. His cap hit is minimal, but again: It’s a little extra room the Celtics no longer have.

That said, Johnson’s performance, when compared to our expectations, has been impeccable. And he may get significant minutes immediately — as Brian pointed out on Twitter, this could mean Avery Bradley’s ankle injury last night was a little more serious than we initially thought. While we certainly don’t wish that on Bradley (seriously, can this kid just catch a break?), having Johnson would likely help considerably with any lost production in Bradley’s potential absence.

Brian will have more on Johnson later after practice.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

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