The Portland Trail Blazers are picking up Keon Johnson’s $2,808,720 team option for the 2023-24 season. This is part of the four-year, $12.5 million rookie scale contract the guard signed last August with the Los Angeles Clippers.
His multi-year deal is fully guaranteed. Johnson has another team option worth $4,474,291 for the 2024-25 season. For this coming season, the Tennessee product will earn $2,681,040.
Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Trail Blazers have bottom-15 odds of winning the championship in 2023. Though, some sportsbooks are anticipating another playoff experience.
The Trail Blazers are picking up the 2023-2024 option for guard Keon Johnson, sources tell ESPN. Johnson played 25 minutes a game after arriving in trade with the Clippers last season. He was the 21st pick in the 2021 draft.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 6, 2022
The Trail Blazers had until Oct. 31st to exercise the club option. It appears the front office made the right choice. Johnson was selected 21st overall by the New York Knicks in the 2021 NBA Draft.
However, the guard was traded to the Clippers for Quentin Grimes and a 2024 second-round draft pick. In 15 games played off the bench with Los Angeles last season, Johnson averaged 3.5 points and 1.4 rebounds while shooting 33.3% from the field.
In February, the Clippers traded Johnson, Eric Bledsoe, Justice Winslow, and a 2025 first-round draft pick to the Trail Blazers for Robert Covington and Norman Powell.
Trail Blazers pick up 2023-24 team option for Keon Johnson
Of course, in 22 appearances with Portland, the guard averaged 9.7 points, 2.7 boards, and 2.9 assists per contest. Plus, he shot 35.7% from the floor and 34.8% from 3-point range.
On March 28, 2022, in the Trail Blazers’ 134-131 overtime loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Johnson scored a then career-high 17 points in 42 minutes of action. He finished 7-of-19 (36.8%) shooting from the field and 3-of-9 (33.3%) from beyond the arc.
Additionally, in Portland’s 130-111 loss versus the San Antonio Spurs four days later, the guard logged a career-high 20 points in 26 minutes played. He shot 8-of-15 (53.3% from the floor and 4-of-6 (66.7%) from downtown.
While with Tennessee in the NCAA, in 27 appearances during his freshman 2020-21 season, Keon Johnson averaged 11.3 points, 3.5 boards, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. He made starts in 17 contests.
On February 6, 2021, in Tennessee’s 82-71 win over Kentucky, the guard recorded a career-high 27 points. From the floor, he shot 9-of-16 (56.3%). His intensity from this game is what the Trail Blazers are hoping for next season.
He finished 17th in the SEC for made 2-point field goals (98). Not to mention, Johnson ranked ninth for defensive rating (94.5) and 20th in steal percentage (2.5).
To add to his college statistics above, the guard was selected to the SEC All-Freshman First Team. Keon Johnson has now come a long way since his days with the Volunteers.
If the Trail Blazers are to return to the playoffs in 2023, they need him to stay healthy. This applies especially for Damian Lillard.
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