With the eighth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons have nabbed freshman swingman Stanley Johnson. Johnson has an NBA-ready body at a young age, and he’s an intense competitor with a high motor and a blossoming perimeter jump shot (37.1 three-point percentage last year).
Johnson plays the passing lanes nicely and is a force in transition thanks to an NBA frame at 6-6, 240 pounds with a 6-11.5 wingspan. Johnson also has solid slashing ability that helped get him to the line 4.7 times per game, and he does a nice job shooting off the dribble and in spot-up situations. His awareness on offense must show improvement, as Johnson turned the ball over 2.2 times per game as a freshman.
Johnson was hyped as a lockdown defender prior to playing at Arizona, but he remains somewhat unproven on that end as fellow Arizona NBA prospect Rondae Hollis-Jefferson guarded opposing teams’ first options every game. How will he react when defending NBA size and athleticism? His strength will be a plus, but does he have the lateral quickness? Time will tell.
Johnson only recently turned 19 in May, so time is in his favor in terms of his potential to improve. His thriving perimeter game and work ethic will make him a solid NBA player immediately, with potential to be a starter on the wing in Detroit and fringe NBA All-Star down the line.
NBA comparison: Ron Artest
2014-15 stats: 13.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.5 spg (44.6 FG%, 37.1 3P%, 74.2 FT%)