Dakari Johnson signs with Thunder

by Brett Dawson

He put in the work, and now Dakari Johnson officially is reaping the reward.

The Thunder's 2015 second-round draft pick on Saturday signed a contract with the club after spending the past two seasons playing for the Oklahoma City Blue, the franchise's development franchise in what's now known as the NBA G League.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a source said Johnson will make the NBA rookie minimum of $815,615 in his first season. The Vertical reported this week the contract is for two years.

Johnson, a first-team All-NBA G League selection last season, averaged 18.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in his second season with the Blue. He'll likely continue to play minutes for the G League franchise, but he'll also be a full-fledged member of the Thunder's roster.

In a release, Thunder general manager Sam Presti called Johnson the “latest Thunder player to have benefitted” from time with the Blue.

“As a result, he showed tremendous growth on both ends of the floor over the past two seasons and is ready to embark on his NBA career more prepared,” Presti said in the release. “Dakari adds to the core of young talent on our roster that we feel is an important tenet to our ability to sustain our success as we enter into a decade of Thunder basketball.”

Johnson, 21, scored in double figures 45 times in 49 games for the Blue last season and had 13 games with double-digit points and rebounds. He averaged 2.2 assists per game, leading G League centers in assists.

The Thunder has 15 players under contract for 2017-18, with rookie Terrance Ferguson expected to be the 16th. It can have 15 players on its opening-night roster.