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Brooklyn Nets Draft Prospect: Cameron Johnson

UNC forward has big-time shooting stroke and NBA readiness

North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson is a bit of an outlier among the players most frequently linked with the Nets in mock draft projections. At 23 years old and 6-foot-8, having shot 45.7 percent from 3-point range last season and 40.5 percent from his college career, he’s more likely to be able to contribute right away to fill a need for a stretch 4 than other younger prospects that will take some time to develop.

SAYS WHO?

Johnson was a popular projection for Brooklyn with one of the Nets’ later picks in early mock drafts, but less so after the lottery and combine. TANKATHON.COM, SBNATION.COM, BASKETBALLINSIDERS.COM and THEBIGLEAD.COM all marked Johnson as Brooklyn’s selection at No. 27 while NBADRAFTNET.COM pegged him with the 31st pick.

SO, WHO IS HE?

A 23-year-old forward, Johnson had a unique college basketball career. First of all, he played in five seasons, redshirting due to injury after playing eight games as a freshman at Pittsburgh in 2014-15. That left him with two seasons of eligibility remaining after he graduated from Pittsburgh in three years, so he was able to transfer directly to North Carolina without sitting out a season.

WHAT’S HE DONE?

Johnson was named All-ACC First Team this season after averaging 16.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 45.7 percent from 3-point range and 50.6 percent overall.

WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?

Do you value potential or readiness? On THERINGER.COM, two of three draft specialists had Johnson among their top 20 prospects — the third had him in the 30s. Overall, he was projected as a top 20 pick in their mock draft. NBADRAFTNET.COM described Johnson as a “lights-out shooter” citing his range and ability to connect on contested shots, catch-and-shoot opportunities off screens and also pull-up jumpers. His 45.7 percent 3-point shooting this season came on a high volume of 5.8 per game. At just 210 pounds, Johnson needs to improve his strength and rebounding to be a major minute stretch or small-ball 4.

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