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Draft Prospect Profile: Nick Johnson
Editor's Note: The Knicks acquired two draft picks in Wednesday's trade with Dallas -- Nos. 34 and 51 in Thursday's Draft. We've been breaking down some potential options, which you can find here. Below is just one of the many promising prospects New York could consider:
Nick Johnson G
21 years old
Freshmen PER 12.6 | Junior PER 21.9
16.3 PPG | 43.2 FG% | 36.7 3P% | 2.8 Asts
In DraftExpress’ most recent mock draft, seven Pac-12 players are slated to be picked ahead of Johnson, the 2013-14 Conference Player of the Year. Indeed, despite his physical gifts and unquestioned record of success at Arizona, concerns about his position in the pros and overall depth of talent in the draft could force him to the bottom part of the 2nd round.
He has prototypical size for a point guard and outstanding athleticism – his 41.5” max vertical jump was the third highest at the combine – with a 6-7 wingspan. The Wildcats ranked 2nd in the country in defensive efficiency and rode a No. 1 seed to the Elite Eight, while Johnson earned consensus First Team All-American honors.
But to many scouts, he profiles as a shooting guard after averaging just 2.8 assists in 33 minutes per game as a junior. At 6-foot-3, that would be a challenge in the NBA. Flanked by athletic, but non-shooting wings in college, Johnson attempted 15 shots per game last season and his 16.3 points per game accounted for 22.3 percent of his team’s total offense. He has great scoring instincts and had the ball in his hands all the time, so he looked to score.
As he transitions into the league, teams will be looking for him to develop as a facilitator to increase his value; if he proves he can handle the ball, his size and length will play up on the defensive end.