Amir Johnson impressing early

One of the easiest ways to test your gut feeling on a trade in the NBA is old adage, “whoever gets the best player in the trade, wins the trade.”

 For the most part that is true and goes double for free agent signings. The only time that this doesn’t ring true is when the chemistry between player and team is just way off and that imbalance prevents any greatness from shining through. Luckily for Boston, the chemistry thus far is strong with Amir Johnson.

 A self described grinder, Johnson is ready to step in and elevate the ‘15-’16 club.  It's his willingness to work that endeared him to the fan bases of every team he has been a part of.  Via Henry McKenna of

"I’m a team player, I’m a hustler . . . I play hard every game. So I know the fans will definitely love me. I know they’re great fans. I know back in the Detroit days, I’ve seen how rowdy they can get. So I know Boston loves their team for sure.” 

 The word around the league on Johnson is that he is a glue guy and a solid locker room presence, and a guy who have thrived on doing the little things that improve the team as a whole, which makes him a great fit for the Brad Stevens system. As covered by Chris Forsberg of ESPN, Stevens spoke highly of Johnson after the first day of practice,

“I think the biggest thing that probably would summarize it is, when we looked at our list of bigs at [the start of free agency] and certainly now, Amir fits with all of them. And being able to fit next to someone is a big part of this."

Coach Brad wasn’t the only person excited to see Amir Johnson in a green jersey this season. Danny Ainge was quick to sing his praises and focus on the non-stat sheet excellence that Johnson is going to add to this team. Via Henry McKenna of

“He can really play. He’s a guy that, the score always seems to go in your favor when he’s on the court. He’s a guy that doesn’t necessarily fill up a stat sheet like a lot of players, but he is a winning player. He’s a guy that his teammates love playing with. He plays great defense, he rebounds, defends multiple positions and brings a lot of versatility.” 

At 6-foot-9, Johnson is another undersized power forward in the already crowded Boston frontcourt. Despite the praise heaped on AJ already by his coach and front office top brass, Stevens is adamant that minutes will be determined by effort in practice.

Batting 1000 when it comes to saying the right thing, Johnson weighed in on the potential for competition over playing time.  Via Chris Forsberg of ESPN:

"I've never been a player that worried about minutes. Whatever I can do to help the team win, I'm pretty much that guy." 

Amir.... you had me at ‘Whatever I can do to help.’
Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor

Source: Chris Forsberg, ESPN
Source: Henry McKenna,

Photo Source: Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images