Without Leonard in the fold, the Raptors appeared to be on the cusp of a season that would see the team begin to re-tool, but Johnson opted to join Toronto anyway. A big reason for that, he says, is because of the Raptors’ record of player development.
Citing the likes of Pascal Siakam, DeMar DeRozan and Fred VanVleet, Johnson believes coming to the Raptors will help him up his game the way each of those players did with Toronto.
“Just seeing what they’ve done with guys like Pascal and DeMar DeRozan, Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry, I’d definitely like to add my name to that list of players who’ve got a lot better and has shown improvement,” Johnson said on Good Show on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Wednesday afternoon. “So for me that was really big and I think they’ve done the best job at making homegrown players better year to year.”
Johnson, 23, was a former No. 8 pick of the Detroit Pistons in the 2015 draft after a strong freshman year at the University of Arizona that saw him win Pac-12 freshman of the year.
Through four seasons in the NBA, however, the potential that made him a lottery pick has yet to shine through. Last season, Johnson averaged 6.9 points in 18.3 minutes played split between the Pistons and New Orleans Pelicans.
You can listen to Johnson’s entire appearance on Good Show in the radio player above where, among other topics, he talks about never having an issue with signing a contract with a Canadian team.