A Royal Selection: Stanley Johnson


Stanley Johnson

Height: 6’7 Weight: 245

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The Player: Coming out of the University of Arizona, Stanley Johnson looks to be ready for the NBA Draft. In his only year with Arizona, Johnson helped the Wildcats in their run in reaching the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.

Qualities that have made Johnson an attractive prospects are his size, ability to defend, and his offensive potential. At only the age of 19, Johnson is already built like a truck, which caused him to be a defensive nuisance towards his opponents, and a load to handle on offense as well.

Despite Johnson being a well-rounded player in college, I see Johnson only being a hazard on defense at the professional level for now. Johnson will eventually become a duo threat on defense and offense, but his offensive game is still inconsistent, but I do see Johnson eventually figuring it out and therefore he will later become a dimensional threat.

Statistics: Again, for an Arizona squad that reached the Elite Eight in March Madness, Johnson played a prime role all season long for his team. In the regular season, Johnson lead the team in points averaging 13.6 PPG and was second in rebounds averaging 6.5 RPG. Johnson also averaged 1.5 steals a contest as well, which showcases his aggression on defense.

Considering that Johnson was playing as a freshman, many would say his stats were impressive for a player playing his first season of college ball. Overall, Johnson’s collegiate stats reflect what he could potentially become at the professional level.

The Draft Range: The opportunity for the Kings to select Johnson in the draft are very high. Right now the Kings have the sixth overall pick in the draft, and Johnson is projected to be picked up around that range. Many mock draft are showing the Kings passing on Johnson, and Johnson being selected as low as #8 to as high as #12. So if the Kings really wanted Johnson, most likely he will be there for the taking.

The Fit: If Sacramento were to go in the direction of Johnson, I see it becoming a good fit. Right now the Kings are in a situation concerning their starting lineup on whether to place Rudy Gay in the three spot or the four. If Johnson were to become a King and inserted into the starting lineup, the Kings could move Gay at the four and place Johnson at the three.

Johnson’s qualities also fit for what the Kings needs. Although Johnson’s offense is not something the Kings can bank on, his defense and motor are, which are significant needs that Kings have to address going forward. Kings fans know that it has been a long time since fans can rely on a player to be defensively reliable night in and night out, and what better player to break that rut than a young and defensive-minded player in Johnson that has something to prove. So in a positional standpoint and in terms of Johnson’s characteristics, he should be a good fit for Sacramento if they indeed select him in the draft.

Final Thoughts: A lot of Kings fans might look at selecting Johnson at #6 to be a bit of a reach, but they shouldn’t stress over it. Johnson showed during his time at Arizona that he has the potential to be a solid contributor for an NBA team. His size and defense is legit, and he also has leadership qualities that will help the Kings now and in the future.

I’ve been a fan of Johnson throughout his brief college career, and to be honest am a bit surprise why his draft stock is not higher than it is right now. So, if the Kings do select Johnson in the NBA Draft, myself as well as Kings fans should be optimistic and ecstatic about the pick.

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