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Philadelphia 76ers: Why are the Spurs so high on Keldon Johnson?



Article Summary:

Even if a player demands to be traded, promises they will never step foot in the city ever again, and effectively tanks their value in a reckless pursuit of getting their way, very few teams are willing to give up an All-NBA-level player for pennies on the dollar, as doing so is the easiest way to get fired from your job; just ask Tom Thibodeau, who was fired two weeks after trading Jimmy Butler for Dario Saric and Robert Covington. While Johnson’s 3 point efficiency dropped considerably from year one to two, averaging a near-identical number of made shots on twice as many attempts, he wasn’t pushed particularly hard to be a high-volume shooter for the Spurs in 2020-21, as players like Derrick White, Patty Mills, Lonnie Walker, and Rudy Gay all averaged at least four attempts from beyond the arc per game.

So what gives? Johnson seems like a fine player, but nothing about those numbers really screams “Keeper” when a player of Ben Simmons’ caliber is in play.

Heck, if the Sixers really want a 6-foot-5 guard/forward drafted in the first round, they could always ask for Devin Vassell, who put up comparable numbers to Johnson’s rookie season in 2020 and has a similar player profile only with a higher defensive ceiling.

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