In a Monday press release, the Portland Trail Blazers have confirmed the signing of D-League All-Star big man Chris Johnson for the remainder of the season. Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside first reported the move.
A spokesperson for the Blazers has confirmed that Johnson will be playoff eligible.
Update (3:14 PM): Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports that Johnson "will be under contract next season, too. Johnson will play on the Blazers' summer league team and compete in training camp next fall (assuming a lockout doesn't prevent both)."
Here's the release.
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Trail Blazers have signed center Chris Johnson of the NBA Development League's Dakota Wizards for the remainder of the season, it was announced today by General Manager Rich Cho.
Johnson, 25, previously signed a 10-day contract with the Trail Blazers on Jan. 22 and appeared in two games, Feb. 1 vs. San Antonio and Feb. 2 at Denver, totaling four points and four rebounds in 16 minutes.
In his first NBA season, Johnson (6-11, 249) also appeared in four games for Boston from Feb. 24-March 4, where he totaled six points, five rebounds and three blocked shots in 32 minutes.
The 15th call-up of the 2010-11 NBA D-League season, Johnson has played in 35 games (34 starts) this season for Dakota, averaging 16.2 points (51.7% FG), 9.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 2.77 blocked shots in 31.8 minutes.
The LSU product was named to the 2011 NBA Development League All-Star Game and tallied 10 points (5-9 FG), two rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 20 minutes of action.
The Trail Blazers roster now stands at 15 players. Johnson will wear jersey No. 17.
Johnson's stint with Boston led Celtics coach Doc Rivers to crack: "If we can figure out a way to get him on (Glen Davis') weight program, he'd be terrific.'' [Quote via Jim Fenton of Enterprise News, via Celtics Blog.]
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