Believe it or not, we are about a month away from Opening Night. Orlando opened training camp on October 1 and have opened the preseason. So how will we get ready? By counting down to the beginning of the season on November 2 against Denver. Let's continue:
The Magic continue to add players. Eventually they will have to cut and get down to 15. As of Tuesday, Orlando sits at 20.
The Magic announced they have signed Chris Johnson, adding another small forward to the roster. Considering forwards Al Harrington, Quentin Richardson, Christian Eyenga and Maurice Harkless, along with guard Arron Afflalo, Johnson seems like he is a necessary body for practice and games. Justin Harper just is not a small forward and Jacque Vaughn likely does not want to push Hedo Turkoglu too much in training camp.
Johnson though can play in his own right and might push for playing time. Johnson averaged 12.4 points per game while shooting 46.5 percent from the floor and grabbing 6.4 rebounds per game in 29.7 minutes per game. His career highlight includes averaging 14.8 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game on his way to the NIT Most Outstanding Player in 2010.
Johnson is 6-foot-6 and 201 pounds, but he has pretty good athleticism as evidenced by the multitude of dunk highlights featuring him on YouTube. One of his best career games was an 18-point, 15-rebound performance against Creighton:
Johnson finished his career at Dayton in some elite company. He is the only player in the last 20 years to finish his career with 1,400 points, 800 rebounds, 300 offensive rebounds and 200 3-pointers while shooting at least 80 percent from the foul line. Johnson is a player who can do it all. That versatility is likely something Rob Hennigan liked and wanted him to bring to practice and, perhaps, beyond.
Johnson could certainly make the roster. It does not seem likely however. the Magic will give him a chance and see what he can do but once Harkless, Harrington and Richardson come back, it likely leaves him out. Hopefully, for his career, he can show enough to latch on elsewhere in the NBA or with the Magic's affiliate in the D-League in Sioux Falls.
32: Media Day … 31: Who Will Start At Center? … 30: Food for thought … 29: Penny to bid for a team … 28: An Honest to Goodness Basketball Game … 26: What to look for in first preseason game … 25: Blog Preview of Pacific Division.