Cam Johnson: The Best Shooter in the 2019 NBA Draft Class

Cam Johnson
by Cody Cunningham

The Phoenix Suns and General Manager James Jones put an emphasis on shooting this offseason as they acquired Dario Šarić and the 11th overall pick, Cam Johnson, from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Šarić joins the Suns with the ability to stretch the floor from the power forward position and many believe that Johnson was the top pure shooter in the 2019 draft class. 

“Every shot [Johnson] shoots looks the same,” Jones said. “Regardless if he’s on-balance or off-balance, if he’s coming off a screen or if he’s running in transition. His ability to shoot it easily, effortlessly at six-eight and a half, it makes it tough for defenders to really challenge him.”

Johnson played three years at the University of Pittsburg before transferring to the University of North Carolina for his final two seasons. The sharp shooter led the Tar Heels with 16.9 points per game on the way to earning a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. 

Long-time UNC Head Coach Roy Williams joined the Doug & Wolf Show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station and spoke highly of his former player and the Suns move to acquire Johnson. 

“First of all, they drafted the best shooter in the entire draft,” Williams said. “Secondly, they drafted a guy who’s ready to play, thirdly, they drafted a guy who’s one most disciplined, focused young men I’ve ever coached. A great human being, but he’s going to be able to come in and play.”

Johnson showed steady improvement throughout his five-year college career before ultimately leading the entire ACC in three-point percentage at 45.7 percent on over five attempts per game. Johnson’s hard work and dedication to his craft earned him First Team All-ACC in 2019 as he consistently proved to Williams his professionalism and desire to grow.

“Cam’s going to go to practice, then he’s going to the trainer, and then he’s going to the weight room and then he’s going to get extra shots up,” Williams said. “It’s going to be an 8-10 hour day of work for him because that’s the way he approaches things.”

While other outlets and analysts have agreed with Williams that Johnson is the top shooter in his class, ESPN’s Mike Schmitz took the praise to the next level, comparing him to one of the most lights-out shooter the league has ever seen.

“In terms of his shooting mechanics, has some Klay Thompson in him,” Schmitz said on Get Up! “He doesn’t need a big ball dip or much time and space to get a shot off. He can shoot it on the move. He knows his role. He can sprint off screens. There’s a lot to like about his shooting and his basketball IQ. He’ll be able to help from day one.” 

Between his knowledge of the game, his perseverance to get him where he is today plus his ability to space the floor, Johnson should not only fit right into the Suns offense, but also make the teammate’s lives easier on the court. 

“I think adding that dynamic to our team will stretch defenses and give Deandre and Devin a lot more room and space to operate,” James Jones said. 

The team also added rookie point guard Ty Jerome as the two will look to find their roles on the newly constructed Suns roster when training camp tips-off in the fall.


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