Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2015 NBA Draft: Top 10 Prospects — Stanley Johnson

#9 Stanley Johnson — 6'7 " 245 lbs | 19 yrs-old | Forward | Freshman | Arizona

Bio: An intense competitor, Johnson starred for an Arizona team that went to the Elite Eight. Although he may not become a No. 1 option, his two-way ability should make him a valuable piece at the NBA level. He’s a load in transition with tremendous defensive potential and enters the league with a pro-ready body—Johnson is a bit undersized for a small forward, but his athletic gifts help make up for that. He just turned 19 and presents an extremely malleable set of skills.
Stanley Johnson [Upside: Andre Iguodala -vs- Downside: Thomas Robinson]

Strengths: Johnson doesn’t have an elite skill on offense, but does a lot of things very well. He came up in high school relying heavily on bully-ball tactics, as he was bigger, stronger and faster than his peers. At present, he’s a power wing who could eventually be a real threat in half-court situations. His wide lower half could help him develop a back-to-the-basket game and make him an ideal small-ball power forward. He can guard multiple positions and is a great fit for the modern league, with a nearly seven-foot wingspan, quick feet and solid awareness. You can see him playing a valuable jack-of-all-trades defensive role pretty quickly. Extremely confident and good-natured, Johnson should transition just fine.
Weaknesses: Entering college, people were worried about Johnson’s shooting, but his freshman season at Arizona showcased surprising perimeter ability. He came in as a much better three-point threat (37%) than most envisioned. Johnson didn’t play with many quality shooters at Arizona and a team with better spacing could also mitigate some of his woes. Somewhat surprisingly, he struggled to finish in the paint at times, an area he’ll have to improve upon to become a dynamic threat in the NBA. He might need time to grow into a consistent scorer. Johnson also did little in the way of creating opportunities for others at Arizona, though he’s done that in the past, and it would serve him well at the next level.
NBA comparison: Jimmy Butler — Sports Illustrated
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