Five Things To Know About Utah's Newest Athletic Wing: Stanley Johnson

Ryan Kostecka
Digital Content Writer

Just under a month before players report to Salt Lake City for training camp, Utah has welcomed two new players.

In a trade that sent Pat Beverley (acquired from Minnesota in the Rudy Gobert trade) to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Jazz have now added Stanley Johnson and Talen Horton-Tucker to their roster. 

Here are five things to know about the stingy wing defender, Johnson.

1.) High School All-American
Back in 2014, Johnson was widely considered one of the top basketball players in the country. Gifted with great size, strength, and unreal athleticism, he was rated a 5-star prospect by multiple outlets out of legendary Mater Dei High School. 

He scored 2,285 career points at Mater Dei, the third-highest mark in school history.

As a senior, he played in the McDonald's All-American Boys Game, Jordan Brand Classic, and the Nike Hoop Summit. He was also named a first-team All-American by multiple outlets and selected as California's Mr. Basketball, given annually to the top basketball player from the state. 

2.) Success As A Wildcat
Always considered a one-and-done prospect, Johnson didn't disappoint in his lone season with Arizona. 

After averaging 13.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game, he was named to the All-Pac-12 first team while earning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors.

Starting alongside future pros TJ McConnell (Indiana Pacers) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Johnson helped lead the Wildcats to the Elite Eight as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. His blend of athleticism and defensive prowess proved ideal at the college level and showed why he was such a high-level NBA prospect.

3.) Former Lottery Pick
It's no surprise that Johnson parlayed all of his early success into a lottery pick, being chosen by the Detroit Pistons with the No. 8 selection in 2015. 

He had a successful rookie season, coming off the bench to average 8.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. He took a step forward in his third year, becoming a starter for the Pistons after averaging a career-high 8.7 points and 1.4 steals while adding 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists. 

Johnson was then traded to New Orleans at the midway point of his 2018-19 season before bouncing around with the Toronto Raptors and Lakers the next few years. 

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 17: Stanley Johnson #3 of the Detroit Pistons reacts during the second half of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pistons 106-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

4.) Reemergence Last Season
After signing three consecutive 10-day contracts with the Lakers last season, Johnson once again proved his mettle as an athletic wing by earning a two-year deal with Los Angeles. 

He earned praise throughout last season for his ability to defend multiple positions, willing to do the dirty work for the Lakers. 

At 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, his strength allows him to defend power forwards in smaller lineups. However, his athleticism is arguably his greatest strength, allowing him to defend guards. 

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 05: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Stanley Johnson #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on April 05, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

5.) Offensive Potential 
With Los Angeles out of playoff contention and LeBron James and Anthony Davis out injured, it allowed some of the Lakers' younger players to see more time on the court — one of them being Johnson.

He responded by having some of the best offensive output of his career. 

Over the final 12 games of the year, he scored double digits in six of them, including a season-high 21 points and eight rebounds against Oklahoma City.