The Emergence of James Johnson
The Pelicans before the deadline were lacking a veteran presence outside of just Eric Bledsoe. They needed another lets just say older guy to kind of show them how it is done. At the deadline the Pelicans made the move to acquire veteran James Johnson and thus far has proven to be a great move. James Johnson is the off the bench, scrappy, defensive catalyst they have been searching for since Stan was hired. Since arriving in New Orleans, James Johnson, has just undoubtedly impressed. In his first 5 games he has been stellar on both sides of the ball. Averaging right sound 13 points per game he has given the injured Pelicans some signs of light on the court. With Brandon Ingram being sidelined with an injury Johnson has been the starting SF for the Pelicans. On the defensive end is where James Johnson has impressed the most, which is the side of the ball where Coach Stan Van Gundy preaches the most. Whether it is blocking shots, stealing the ball, locking up defenders James Johnson has definitely proven that the Pelicans made the right call in trading for him. Now the question is this can the Pelicans afford to keep him on the roster for the 2021-2022 season? Do they use all their 2021 draft picks and move on from the older guys? That answer is yet to be determined. If I had a say in it I would most definitely bring the scrappy veteran James Johnson back without a doubt.