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Midseason Roundtable Grades: Wes Johnson

Some of our writers got together to hand out midseason grades to Wes Johnson, the Clippers’ reserve small forward.

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Kenneth Armstrong: C

It's hard to look at Wes and not expect a ton of production. But although he is an exceptional athlete with great length, he has yet to find a consistent way to contribute. Even with all of the Clippers' injuries this year, he is nonetheless averaging the least amount of minutes of his career. Wes can improve his grade significantly for the rest of the season if he just hit some open threes.

Davey Bales: C

I've been a fan for the past two seasons and I still feel that he has the physical tools to contribute to the team in a meaningful way, but he just hasn't been able to put it together up to this point. His defensive versatility was a big factor in why the bench unit initially looked so unexpectedly staunch and the main reason I haven't rated him lower, but WeJo's inability to knock down open jumpers, let alone create anything at all offensively, has really limited his impact. Between LRMAM's offensive improvement and the effectiveness of the three-guard lineup off the bench, Wesley's opportunities have faded fast. That said, he's coming off his best offensive game of the season against Atlanta, and I still have confidence that he can be part of an effective second unit once the team is healthy and gearing up for the playoff push.

Robert Flom: C+

If this seems a bit high for Wes, it might well be. I’ve always liked Wes, and I would be sad if he was traded away. Anyway, while his three-point shooting has been flat out embarrassing at times, Wes has responded by stepping his game up on the glass and defensive end— he is averaging by far career highs in Block% and Rebounding%. He was a crucial part of the bench unit that was so good at the start of the season, contributing all the little things and making up for the defensive holes elsewhere in the lineup. While it’s hard to give him a really positive grade because his offensive game has been so lacking, he’s been a non-negative player for most of the season, which means he gets a slightly above average grade from me. Once the Clippers are fully healthy and the original bench unit can form, maybe his performance improves again.

Max Jeffrey: C-

To the eye test, this grade may seem a bit unfair. After all, Wesley Johnson currently holds opponents to 43.7% shooting from the field and 32.7% from behind the arc. One could argue that Wesley Johnson has been under-utilized. Able to flex between the 3 or the 4, Johnson has been able to defend well while shooting open threes when needed. But while it’s a smaller sample size, Wesley averages just 13.2 minutes per game and his efficiency has dropped over the course of the season; he’s currently shooting just 37.7% from the field and just 28% from behind the arc. His efficiency will need to improve if he hopes to see an increase in his minutes.

James Nisky: C

Wes has generally looked in shape and effective on defense. He is averaging a career low in minutes per game, and this combined with the nature of his rotations have not put Wes in a good position to make a large impact. It’s hardly fair to criticize his season too harshly when he’s only getting 3 field goal attempts up per game. His lack of minutes is surprising considering how injury plagued the Clippers have been this season. Wes could probably play himself into more minutes by using his quickness and ability to fly to attack the rim more aggressively and draw more contact. He has looked timid around the rim and in transition play.

What do you guys think? Are we being too harsh on Wes, or just right? Let us know in the comments below!