Chris Johnson knew he would have to take the long route to the NBA.

But the 6-5 guard only went as far as the edge of Mexico, as in McAllen, Texas, which kisses the border and where he recently played in the NBA Development League.

Johnson resisted the urge to go overseas as an undrafted player and banked on getting a prompt shot at the NBA. His calculated gamble paid off.

The lefty with a quick trigger is flourishing during his 10-day contract with the Grizzlies, and making a strong case for the team to tack on an extension. In four games, Johnson is shooting 58 percent overall and 46 percent from long range.

"I figured why not go to the D-League and play for a chance to get a call-up?" said Johnson, a four-year college player at Dayton. "Once you sign that contract overseas, you're over there for a year. In the D-League, NBA scouts come check you out and look to potentially call you up. I'm grateful that the Griz did and just threw me out there. I'm trying to make the best of this opportunity."