After straining his hamstring days before the start of training camp, Cam Johnson participated in Brooklyn Nets practice for the first time this preseason on Saturday. Johnson had no restrictions, and Brooklyn expects the forward to be available for Wednesday's regular-season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I think his progression to get to this point has been pretty methodical. Our approach has been getting him to feel comfortable when he's back on the floor,” head coach Jacque Vaughn said. “He's done the work behind the scenes to be in a position to practice today and hopefully he continues in this direction. We got three more days for him to get more comfortable being on the floor and being out there with a different group.”

Johnson was among Brooklyn's top performers after joining the team at last year's deadline, averaging 16.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.4 steals on 47/37/85 shooting splits.

His hamstring injury came after he spent the summer playing for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup. While the Nets expect him to be available vs. Cleveland, Vaughn said the team will take a cautious approach with his workload upon his return.

“I'll be smart about it. He had no preseason games. Even though he has a base underneath him from playing USA Basketball this summer, it’s still been a while since he's been in a competitive game,” Vaughn said. “So I'll be smart with how he looks. It won't be long stretches. I think that'd be our approach.”

Expectations are high for Johnson after the 6-foot-8 sharpshooter signed a four-year, $94.5 million contract extension this offseason.

A 39.3 percent career three-point shooter on 5.6 attempts per game, Johnson's elite floor-spacing will be crucial to the Nets' starting unit as they attempt to build a sufficient halfcourt offense around Ben Simmons and Nic Claxton. The former lottery pick also flashed his growing ability as an on-ball creator while stepping into an expanded role with Brooklyn last season.

While he missed the entire preseason, Johnson said there was an advantage to him watching practice from the sideline.

“You just get that bird’s eye view. Sometimes you can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame,” he said. “So being on the outside, I'm seeing how our offense works, our defense works, and then just coming back with a couple ideas of my own of trying to work with the guys we have. Now we're just putting it all into practice.”

The 28-year-old returns to a Nets squad that starkly contrasts the small-ball-heavy teams of the Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving era.

Following a series of offseason moves, Brooklyn's roster posts an average height of 6-foot-6 and an average wingspan of 6-foot-9. The starting five features two of the league's most versatile defenders in Simmons (6-foot-10) and Claxton (6-foot-11), alongside Johnson (6-foot-8), Mikal Bridges (6-foot-7) and Spencer Dinwiddie (6-foot-5).

Johnson emphasized Brooklyn's size and athleticism when asked what stood out to him while watching preseason games.

“You look out there, we look big on the court. We have a lot of size, length, and athleticism,” he said. “Ben adds that unique element of somebody big, strong, can handle the ball, can push the ball, finds open shooters. Him and Nic (Claxton). If we can just play on that, use that to our advantage, whoever it may be just feeding off of them and finding spots, I think it could be a recipe for success. So there’s a lot of potential in that group.”

Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle) did not participate in practice Saturday. The Nets will practice three more times before taking the floor against Cleveland on Wednesday at Barclays Center.