Bucks Looking at Alexander Johnson
According to Scott Schroeder of RidiculousUpside.com , the Milwaukee Bucks reportedly held a tryout between former Duke forward Shavlik Randolph and former Florida State standout Alexander Johnson to fill their 15th and final roster spot for their push for the playoffs.
It appears as though Johnson was the more impressive of the two players.
Johnson, currently of the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA's Development League, is proving himself to be one of the most NBA-ready players without an NBA contract. In 16 games, Johnson has averaged 23.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game on 55.1% shooting from the field and 75.7% shooting from the line.
What He'd Bring to the Table
The Milwaukee Bucks have been missing physicality from their power forwards all season long. While Ersan Ilyasova and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute have done a tremendous job lately, each of them are more "finesse" than "bruiser." Because of this they have a tendency to get eaten alive by stronger power forwards such as Carlos Boozer who had his way with them to the tune of 26 points and 14 rebounds last week.
At a hulking 6'9" and 240lbs, Johnson would instantly become the Bucks largest power forward on the roster and a player willing to do the dirty work in the paint. While his game isn't terribly refined, Johnson brings a few positive attributes to the table.
Defensively, Johnson may surprise a lot of people if signed. With his combination of size, strength, explosiveness, and determination, Johnson will have a physical advantage over his fair share of power forwards in the league and be able to bang with those he's matched up with. He is currently averaging 1.6 blocks per game in the Development League, a half block more per game than he did in college indicating an improvement with positional defense.
Johnson has also been a capable rebounder throughout his basketball career. In his 16 appearances in the NBA Development League, Johnson has pulled down 3.2 offensive rebounds a game which would undoubtedly help the Bucks control the pace on the offensive end while allowing them to end possessions when shots are missed by the opposing team.
Offensively, Johnson isn't a guy who will light up the scoreboard. His back to the basket game is still very raw. With that being said, a lot of his points would come off of put backs and guard penetration should he decide to sign. He does however have a decent 15-foot jump shot to keep the defense honest effectively allowing Andrew Bogut to continue to operate in the post like he has all season long.
By far the most impressive part of Johnson's game in the development league has been his ability to get to the line. The Milwaukee Bucks rank second to last in the NBA in team free throw attempts per game at 20.5 FTA per game. Johnson, through his 16 games, has averaged an astounding 12.6 FTA per game or 202 total FTA. While he would not get the amount of minutes necessary to achieve that for Milwaukee, he should be able to get to the line at a decent clip when given minutes.
Johnson won't come in and set the league on fire, but make no mistake about the type of player he is. He is perfectly capable of coming in and contributing to this young Bucks team right away in a reserve role if he's given the minutes to do so.