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Raptors among group of teams interested in G League star Alize Johnson

Alize Johnson, Raptors

The Toronto Raptors could turn to the G League for reinforcements heading into the second half of the 2020-21 NBA season.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported the Raptors are among the teams with interest in Raptors 905 star Alize Johnson. O’Connor added the Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns are among the other teams thought to be in Johnson’s market.

Johnson spent his days at Missouri State before being taken by the Indiana Pacers with the 50th overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. He played just 14 games with the Pacers in his rookie year and appeared in just 17 games last season. His brief showings in his sophomore campaign were quite interesting, however.

Johnson averaged close to three rebounds and nearly a full offensive rebound in under seven minutes per game. Despite lacking the size of a traditional power forward, Johnson’s effort and high motor have served him well.

He is averaging 13.3 rebounds in 15 games with the Raptors 905, including 3.1 offensive rebounds per game. He is also making his presence felt on the offensive end of the floor, averaging 16.6 points and 4.2 assists.

It would make sense for the Raptors to show interest given their struggles on the boards. Toronto ranks last in the NBA in rebounding. Offseason frontcourt additions like Alex Len (waived in January) and Aron Baynes have not paid off. The Raptors could use more rebounding off the bench, especially with Chris Boucher being utilized in a stretch-4 role.

Johnson might yet get another crack at playing in the NBA thanks to his G League breakout.