Stanley Johnson – F, Arizona
Size: 6-foot-6, 240 pounds
2014-15 freshman year stats: 13.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.4 blocks, 2.2 turnovers in 28.4 minutes (38 games).
Why he fits
Johnson can provide the Sacramento Kings’ porous perimeter defense a facelift. Scouts envision the 19-year-old one day becoming an elite NBA wing defender. Johnson guarded twos, threes and fours in college and showed a knack for reading passing lanes and frustrating on-ball assignments.
Defense isn’t his only calling card, as the Wildcat developed a consistent jumper in his lone college season. Johnson stretched the floor and was more than capable of scoring with the pick-and-roll.
Johnson’s chiseled physique allowed him to attack the basket and finish through defenders. His aggressiveness bodes well for a Kings team that thrives drawing free throws. Johnson crashes the offensive boards and puts the ball on the floor comfortably, so Sacramento is looking at a two-way player with high upside.
Why he doesn’t fit
For all his promise, Johnson has no clear path to fulfill it. All-Star talent Rudy Gay remains on the roster, and Johnson’s addition would mean the Kings likely part with free agent and breakout performer Omri Casspi. The black hole at power forward could be better addressed by not drafting a natural small forward.
At Arizona, the California native developed a reputation for selfish tendencies shooting the ball, losing turnovers and missing open teammates. The Kings and their slowly improving ball movement would have to integrate another possible headache.
Johnson’s upside comes at a cost. The 19-year-old is less refined than Duke freshman forward Justise Winslow, and Johnson will need to smooth out some bad habits like an inconsistent shot release. The Kings are geared to win now and probably don’t have to patience to wait for Johnson’s ascent.
Likelihood he’s available
Great. The surplus of frontcourt prospects and the availability of Winslow make it reasonable to expect Johnson falls outside the first five picks.
Metta World Peace