Ager has been covered a few times this summer, the most in-depth of which was here. He was reportedly going to go to camp with the Knicks, yet may have chosen more wisely in coming to New Orleans, who need a two guard more than New York does. DerMarr Johnson is fighting for that same spot; he hasn't been in the NBA since the end of the 2008 season, and has spent much of his time since on Twitter (where all he does is talk about how he's trying to bed every woman in Denver. It grows tiresome.) Johnson played this spring in Saudi Arabia of all places, where he averaged 22.3ppg, 6.7rpg, 3.6apg, 2.3spg and 1.4bpg in the Asian Club Championships for Al Hilal. Before that, he played briefly in China and Puerto Rico. All three are stat-heavy places that aren't even close to replicating the calibre of NBA play. Always a marginal talent, save for one good year, DerMarr will have to go some to win this spot.
[...] Johnson proved a long time ago that being an athletic 6'9 shooting guard is only an asset if you do something with it. DerMarr never did, showing himself only to be a jumpshooting specialist who's only average at jumpshooting. (You might also want to keep him away from his similarly heighted namesake, Wesley, who is a bit too similar offensively to DerMarr for comfort.)
DerMarr Johnson - Johnson was a surprise inclusion on the Timberwolves training camp roster, but he didn't even last a week. He quickly moved to the Lebanon to play for Sagesse, but was quickly replaced by Darryl Watkins. He is now unsigned.
- DerMarr Johnson - Johnson hasn't been in the NBA since an abortive stint with the Spurs at the end of the 2007-08 season. He played only 5 games for them, then got done for DUI after the season finished. Since that time, Johnson has been in China, Puerto Rico and Saudi Arabia, avoiding Europe after an unsuccessful stint there in 2007. Johnson is touted as a tall shooter, but he's just not that great of a shooter.
Ponce have had more import turnover than most teams. They've had quality players, but not much piece of mind. The Lions started the year with Collins and Johnson, one a former NBA #6 pick, and one a former highly touted prospect who couldn't stay out of trouble for long enough to crack the big league. Both players had spent the majority of this year in China, but neither for very long. Johnson played in the first ten games for Jiangsu, and was remarkably inconsistent; after a 43 point debut and a 29 point 13 rebound second game, he totalled only 40 points over the next three games, recovered a bit, then had a 5 point outing in his penultimate game before leaving the team.
[...] In the 7th place playoff game between Philippines enigma Smart Gilas and Saudi Arabian team Al Hilal - yes, they have a seventh place playoff game in the Asian Club Championships - ex-NBA guard DerMarr Johnson put up 37 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 steals for the Saudis. They lost anyway.
As regular viewers of this site will know, the Chinese CBA and the Puerto Rican BSN are of particularly interest in these posts, for those two leagues house an unduly awesome amount of former NBA talent. Additionally, with the CBA taking place between December and April, and the BSN from March until June, a lot of players tend to take part in both. It's two paychecks, after all.
Johnson is one who has done just that. As outlined in this post about Chinese Basketball Association statistics - a piece that has made me a figure of bilious hate and scorn amongst the Chinese basketball community, who feel slighted that an Englishman would write about their league while singularly misunderstanding that the reason it was only a look at statistics was because IT WAS ONLY A LOOK AT STATISTICS - Johnson totalled a very inconsistent 19.9ppg and 5.8rpg for Jiangsu, before leaving the team in January. He then moved to Puerto Rico for the start of their season, and averaged 11.9 points and 4.7 rebounds for Ponce Lions. However, he was released last week, along with DeAngelo Collins, to be replaced by Leon Rodgers and Andre Brown. All four are China/Puerto Rico duellists, which reinforces what I just said just now about that.
Jiangsu started the year with Johnson, who played in their first ten games before being replaced by Harvey for the next 18. Johnson was remarkably inconsistent; after a 43 point debut and a 29 point 13 rebound second game, he totalled only 40 points over the next three games, recovered a bit, then had a 5 point outing in his penultimate game before leaving the team. He is now signed in Puerto Rico. His replacement Harvey has been incredibly consistent and highly productive, tied for 4th in the league in rebounds per game and only just placing outside the top 10 in points as well. Harvey has 14 double doubles in his 18 games, and while his numbers are down on the 30/15 he averaged for Jiangsu last year, they're still pretty damn good.
(The above video is of Johnson rapping under the name "Boss Slim," in a song whose lyrics seem designed to convey the fundamental principles of driving. Changing lanes? All good information.)
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.