As far as prototypical small forwards go, Eddie Johnson fits the mold pretty well, standing 6-foot-7 weighing around 215 pounds with a score-first mentality that helped him build a long decade-plus career in the league.
Originally an early second-round pick back in 1981, Johnson had a slow start to his NBA career, averaging less than double-figures in the scoring column while barely playing 20 minutes a night. It wasn’t until the Kings made him a starter and increased his minutes that Johnson started giving opposing teams trouble on a consistent basis.
As somewhat of a lighter small forward, Johnson could fly up and down the floor in a hurry, which he did quite a bit early on in his NBA tenure, getting out in transition as soon as the rebound was secured, leading to easy confidence-building layups.
He wasn’t a great 3-point shooter, just 28.1 percent in six seasons with the Kings, but if and when he decided to take even just one step inward, he was nearly automatic. Whether it be off penetration or dribble fadeaways, the 15-footer was Johnson’s bread and butter, and it was the center to his entire offensive arsenal.
Because of the threat of shooting Johnson brought, it created room for him to drive the lanes and finish at the rim. He averaged 18.7 points on 48.0 percent shooting with the Kings. It wasn’t leading the league in scoring type numbers, but it passed a threshold that classifies him as a guy who could get a bucket any time he wanted to.