Keldon Johnson has agreed to a four-year, $80 million contract extension with the San Antonio Spurs, according to Shams Charania. Johnson, a three-year veteran and former first-round pick out of Kentucky, averaged a career-best 17 points per game for the Spurs last season.
He’ll have plenty of chances to improve upon that figure next season. A year ago, Johnson was fighting for minutes and shots on a crowded Spurs perimeter, but Derrick White was dealt at the trade deadline and Dejounte Murray’s move to Atlanta followed this offseason. Now, Johnson is one of the few remaining productive Spurs on a roster that seems intent on tanking for a chance at one of next season’s top draft prospects.
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That should suit Johnson just fine. In addition to scoring, he is also coming off a career-best season in terms of rebounds, assists and 3-point percentage. Now, he’ll have a chance to continue to develop with limited pressure. That likely explains why San Antonio was motivated to get a deal done with Johnson so early. They expect his value to go up after a strong showing next season, so they seemingly wanted to lock him up now.
Now that they’ve done so, they’ve secured at least one cornerstone for the foreseeable future. It has been an offseason of turnover in San Antonio, and with Gregg Popovich nearing the end of his coaching career, the Spurs will need pillars in place to enable the transition. Johnson will now be one of them