The Clippers drafted Brice Johnson 25th in the first round last June with the eyes on the future. He’s an explosive athlete who doesn’t have a ton of moves but a nice touch around the rim. He was efficient, he played within himself. He has the potential to develop into a solid rotation big in the NBA.
But that future is on hold for a little bit.
The Clippers announced that Johnson has a herniated disc in his back and is now out “indefinitely.” He injured his back in the preseason game against the Raptors.
The goal is to rehab and avoid surgery. What that means is expect Johnson to be sidelined for an extended period of time, at least a month and likely more (ESPN reports 4-6 weeks, but backs are tricky things).
Johnson was not going to see a lot of court time this season — Blake Griffin, Brandon Bass, DeAndre Jordan, and Marreese Speights will soak up the majority of the minutes — but this is a setback on the team’s plans to develop his game.