JaJuan Johnson will take another stab at the NBA, participating in the 2015 NBA Summer League with the Utah Jazz this month.
Johnson was one of the Baby Boilers at Purdue and had a successful career that ended with the center being named a consensus first-team All-American, first-team All-Big Ten, Pete Newell Big Man Award, Big Ten Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He turned a successful four year career into a first round pick by the Boston Celtics (well, the Nets actually drafted him but traded his rights), joining teammate E'Twaun Moore in the NBA. Unfortunately Johnson couldn't stick with Boston, averaging 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game off the bench with the Celtics his rookie season.
JJ would go on to be drafted with the first pick in the D-League draft in 2012, but ended up bouncing around the league with three different teams and failing to stick with any of the associated teams. The end result was Johnson went overseas, playing in Italy in 2013-14 and Turkey in 2014-15, piecing together a relatively successful two seasons abroad. Over the last two seasons Johnson has averaged 14.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and was one of his teams top two scorers and rebounders in both seasons.
It's kind of weird as to why Johnson hasn't been able to develop into a NBA player. While Johnson was relatively slim throughout most of his collegiate career, he started to bulk up a bit at the end of his time in West Lafayette, brings plenty of athleticism to the table and has a capable outside game. For whatever reason, though, he's never been able to capitalize on his potential in the NBA and his attempt with the Jazz this summer could be one of his last chances to find a roster spot in the NBA.
Of course if Johnson can't take advantage of the opportunity, he'll still have a home somewhere overseas. While you'd have to imagine the NBA is his ultimate goal, Johnson has said that has experience overseas has been "nothing but positive." If the pieces can finally come together for Johnson he could have a chance, but after spending several seasons out of the NBA, Purdue fans might have to resort to tracking him in Europe next season once again.