Keldon Johnson is signing a four-year, $80MM extension with the Spursaccording to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).
Johnson was the 29th pick of the 2019 draft. As a former first-round pick Entering his fourth season, he was eligible for a Rookie scale extension, and he’s signing a lucrative deal to remain with San Antonio.
Johnson spent most of his rookie season in the G League, but emerged as a potential building block during the team’s run in the Orlando bubble. He started to put things together nicely during his second season in 2020/21, showing glimpses of upside while averaging 12.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 1.8 APG on .479/.331/.740 shooting in 69 games (28.5 MPG).
The 22-year-old was one of San Antonio’s best players last season, appearing in 75 games (31.9 MPG) with averages of 17.0 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 2.1 APG on .466/.398/.756 shooting. Nicknamed “Big Body” for his strong frame and hard drives to the rim, Johnson showed improvement as an outside shooter in ’21/22, with his three-point percentage increasing by nearly seven percent.
The young small forward figures to see an increased role during the upcoming season after All-Star Dejounte Murray was traded to the Hawks for first-round picks.
For the sake of comparison, Johnson’s extension is in-between what a couple of other small forwards received for their Rookie extensions: OG Anunoby got $72MM over four years from the Raptors in 2020 (the last year being a player option), while Mikal Bridges received $90MM over four years from the Suns last summer. Johnson hasn’t been the defender that either of those two were through their third seasons, but he’s been a more productive Offensive player — part of that is due to opportunity, but he’s still a Talented player with plenty of room for improvement.
Johnson’s extension will kick in during the ’23/24 season. As our extension tracker shows, he is the first player to receive a rookie scale extension that isn’t a maximum-salary deal.