The Nets have signed Azile Johnson to a 10-day contract, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. Brooklyn needed to meet the NBA’s 14-man roster requirement by Monday.
Free agent F Alize Johnson is signing a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets, pending passing of protocols, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 22, 2021
The report was later confirmed by the New York Post and the Nets made it official on Monday.
In addition to the Nets, the Magic, Raptors, Rockets, Spurs and Suns all had interest, according to The Ringer. The Nets now have a single open roster spot with the NBA trade deadline four days away.
Johnson, known as Zay, played with the Raptors G League affiliate, Raptors 905, in the G League “bubble” and helped lead the affiliate to a 12-3 record. The 6’8” forward, who got minutes at the point as well, was one of the main contributors in the Raptors 905 prolific offense, along with former Nets Nik Stauskas and Henry Ellenson.
Johnson averaged a double-double of 16.6 points and 13.3 rebounds to go along with 4.2 assists and 1.3 steals this season. He finished with a 57/33/76 shooting line. Johnson averaged only 1.6 attempts per contest from deep. The 24-year-old played a total of 15 games in Orlando and started in all 15. The Missouri State product is a leading candidate for the G League MVP award which will be announced Monday.
Johnson and the Raptors 905 did not play the Nets G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, this season in the “bubble” but he certainly put on a show as a member of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants while on assignment from the Pacers, the team that drafted him, back in February of 2019
Johnson has some NBA experience after being taken at No. 50 in the 2018 Draft. He appeared in 31 games for the Indiana Pacers over two seasons including one start. He posted averages of 2.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 6.9 minutes as he primarily played with the Mad Ants in two seasons with the franchise (2018-20).
While Johnson is on a 10-day deal, the Nets do not have to keep him the full 10 days. Should the Nets make a move at Thursday’s trade deadline and need a roster spot, they could simply release him. At the other end of the spectrum, Johnson could be extended a second 10-day when the first expires.