Pacers pick up team option on Alize Johnson for 2019-20
According to the IndyStar, the Indiana Pacers have picked up the second-year option on forward Alize Johnson’s contract, fully guaranteeing his contract for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. The 50th pick in 2018’s draft, Johnson’s $1.4 million dollar deal would be half guaranteed should the Pacers not picked up his option by today, and he would have become an unrestricted free agent.
Johnson played in just 14 games for Indiana last season, and prior to playing over 25 minutes in the final game of the regular season, his career-high in minutes came in a 27-point January loss to the Boston Celtics—Johnson played six minutes and ten seconds.
Without any Division I offers, Johnson attended Frank Phillips College in Texas for his freshman and sophomore years, but then transferred to Missouri State University to finish his athletic and academic career. After his junior season, he declared for the draft and worked out with the Boston Celtics, however, he did not sign with an agent, which allowed him to withdraw and return to school for another year.
Playing in the G Leauge last season gave Johnson time to develop, in 31 games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants last season the power forward had 23 double-doubles. So far he’s averaged 16.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.4 steals in 29 minutes per game for the Pacers during Summer League.
It won’t be easy for the 23-year-old to find minutes in the NBA this season, Domantas Sabonis, T.J. Warren, and T.J. Leaf all ahead of him in the rotation, but another year of developing could help Johnson break out. While still clearly developing a feel for the NBA game, Johnson’s motor and rebounding skills allow him to contribute every time he steps on the floor.
In Friday’s summer match up with the Los Angles Clippers, Johnson had 25 points on 58 percent shooting to go with 13 rebounds, threes assists, and two steals.