C's ink Johnson to 10-day contract

DENVER -- The Boston Celtics signed center Chris Johnson to a 10-day contract Thursday as a stopgap in their overhauled (and still dinged-up) frontcourt.

Johnson, a lanky 6-foot-11 center out of LSU, averaged 16.9 point, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game this season with the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Development League. After spending time with Boston in training camp, he earned a call-up from the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the year and appeared in two games.

Johnson is the third LSU big man on the Boston roster, joining Shaquille O'Neal and Glen Davis. It's a nagging right Achilles injury with O'Neal that forced the Celtics to reach out for Johnson, especially after trading away both Kendrick Perkins and Semih Erden in separate deals Thursday.

"We had him in camp," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before Thursday's tilt against the new-look Denver Nuggets. "He’ll play tonight. He won’t know what he’s doing, but he’ll be out there and he'll be out there early. We needed a body and he can play a little bit. He's been terrific in D-League."

Johnson, ironically, was assigned No. 86 (maybe out of sheer necessity). That number, of course, was previously owned by Erden.