The Chicago Bulls have completed their roster, barring an unforeseen move involving the trade exception they collected in the deal that sent Daniel Theis to the Houston Rockets. On Monday, the Bulls inked former lottery pick Stanley Johnson to a free-agent deal, along with Alize Johnson.
Johnson and Johnson is a popular concept these days. The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweeted the news:
Johnson, 25, was the eighth overall pick of the Detroit Pistons back in 2015. When he arrived in the NBA, his game had some similarities to Ron Artest, but so far, Johnson’s production hasn’t come close to what the former Bulls, Pacers, Kings and Lakers star did on the offensive side of the ball.
Johnson has established himself as a solid defender who is capable of playing both forward sports, despite standing just 6’7″.
In Johnson’s six-year career, he has averaged 6.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game while shooting .375 percent from the field, .298 from three-point range and .761 percent from the free-throw line.
Johnson makes his living on defense, and that is certainly why the Bulls chose to sign him. Bulls Twitter reacted to Johnson’s signing and it was pretty mixed.
The Negative Takes on the Bulls Signing Stanley Johnson
Immediately, one will look at Johnson’s draft position and his stat line, and it is easy to be underwhelmed. That seems to be the fuel for the negative Twitter reactions.
Chicago Bulls Talk tweeted: “Stanley Johnson to the Bulls? He’s been in the league for 7 seasons now & hasn’t developed. We already have Jones & Brown as backup SFs. Wasn’t good enough to stick on the Pistons, Pelicans or Raptors rosters. Not very high on this signing. Hopefully it’s a non guaranteed deal.”
Forbes’ Jason Patt tweeted a simple and seemingly negative take on Johnson’s signing. Patt posted: “My take on Stanley Johnson is I have no take on Stanley Johnson.”
Make no mistake about it, you expect more from a kid taken with a Top-10 pick, especially by the time he turns 25. While Johnson might never reach his original potential, that doesn’t mean he can’t be a positive for the 2021-22 Bulls.
The Positive Takes on Stanley Johnson Signing With the Bulls
Bulls insider Daniel Greenberg screen captured Zach LaVine’s positive response to the move in his tweet.
Steven Kelsey aka The Ballfather seems to see the defensive upside in the move. He tweeted: “Chicago’s newest defensive role player Stanley Johnson Bulls haven’t had this many defensive wings since the 90’s,” along with a video. Pop in this tweet because it has video:
Daniel Greenberg added this bit of perspective to the move as well, which shows Johnson had a career game against the Bulls. Greenberg tweeted: “Newest Chicago Bull Stanley Johnson had 36 points and 10 rebounds in a game last season against the Bulls. Stanley is 6-foot-6 and has a 7-0 wingspan.”
NBC Sports’ Mark Schanowski tweeted: “Stanley Johnson was a highly regarded prospect coming out of Arizona, and gives the Bulls another solid wing defender. Not much to offer on the offensive end, but he’s athletic & can finish at the rim. Decent depth pick-up 3 weeks before training camp.”
It would appear the more analytical and professional takes are positive, which could be a good sign for the Bulls’ bottom line.
Stanley Johnson Takes That are Somewhere in the Middle
Former NBA 2K insider and hoops data collector John Markisch aka the Real NBA 2K Insider’s take falls somewhere in the middle: “Big fan of this, Alize [Johnson] could start for the Bulls. Similar to Jarred Vanderbilt w/ the Wolves last year. Stanley Johnson is also a good signing though the team really missed the boat here in free agency. Immense dropoff from from Lauri & Thad.”
I hate to agree with Markisch considering I’ve been arguing with him off and on via Twitter and live streams for years, but he is correct on each point in this one. The Bulls will almost certainly see a dip in production from Lauri Markkanen and Thad Young statistically. However, it is about the sum of the parts and not necessarily a direct statistical comparison between the two exiting forwards and the addition of the Brothers Johnson. I figured I would give them a nickname before Stacey King works his magic.
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