Editor's Note: The 2012 NBA Draft is just around the corner, and that means it's time to start looking at this year's prospects. We've enlisted the help of a couple of our community's top draftnicks to break down as many prospects as possible from this year's class, whether they're high-lottery picks, potential first-round sliders or sleepers that could make an impact on a team from the second round. Today: Orlando Johnson.
Expected Draft Position: Late-first to early-second round
College Career recap: Started as a freshman at Loyola Marymount averaging team highs in points and rebounds with 12 and 5 respectively. Johnson then transferred to UCSB and after sitting out a season, made a huge splash (stats below). Finished his college career earning 2x All Big West conference (2010,2011), 2010 Big West Player of the Year and AP Honorable Mention All-American 2010.
|2009/10||NCAA||UC Santa Barbara||30||31.3||18.0||5.9||12.2||48.1||4.3||8.3||52.0||1.5||3.9||39.7||4.7||6.7||70.3||1.9||3.5||5.4||2.3||0.7||0.6||2.7||2.4|
|2010/11||NCAA||UC Santa Barbara||32||33.3||21.1||6.9||14.6||47.5||4.9||9.5||51.3||2.1||5.1||40.5||5.1||6.4||80.4||1.5||4.7||6.2||2.9||1.2||0.5||2.7||2.1|
|2011/12||NCAA||UC Santa Barbara||31||34.4||19.7||6.7||14.8||45.1||4.4||9.5||46.4||2.3||5.3||42.7||4.1||5.9||69.8||1.7||4.2||5.8||2.9||1.1||0.7||2.5||1.8|
Best Attributes: Johnson has a great basketball IQ and knows how to get his shot off, showing lots of patience and a smooth offensive game. He can score off the dribble or off the catch, and has deep range that makes him a threat from anywhere on the court. He also uses his 224lb frame down in the post where he's effective and has a nice touch finishing at the basket. He's an extremely hard worker and a team guy both on and off the court. He's also a very good rebounder for his position, hardly turns the ball over and is a willing passer.
Biggest Weakness: He is a below-average average athlete and can use some work on his ball-handling. Though you wouldn't be able to tell judging from his solid percentages, Johnson takes some very tough shots regularly. That may come from his inability to get separation and having just an average first step.
Why he'd fit in D.C.: Wizards have a well known weakness in both scoring and perimeter shooting, in addition to getting to the FT line as a team. I feel Johnson can help in all these areas. His 20 points per game was 14th in the nation, and he posted a respectable 45-percent field goal percentagelast year. While you can't expect a potential second-round pick to put up those numbers in the NBA, it shows he can score efficiently, which is promising because he'll most likely be drafted into a role. His 39-percent mark from three-point range over four years in college will undoubtedly help and he improved in this area each year, maxing out at 43 percent his senior year. Johnson was also top 10 in free throw attempts for any G/F, with six per game.
Why he might not: He's slightly undersized and there are questions about whether he'd be quick enough laterally to consistently defend the position at the next level. Also, as the focal point of his team's offense in college, can he reign in his shot selection and fit into a spot-up role if needed?
Verdict: Johnson is a mature, versatile guard who will fit on the team regardless of how the roster is constructed heading into next season, including the possibility of drafting Bradley Beal. Scorers of his nature are hard to come by and that is especially true when factoring in the shooting ability he possesses to compliment that. If he is there at 32, its a no-brainer given he provides more bang for the buck than any other shooter available. If I'm GM, I'd be looking to package No. 32 with an asset to move up and grab Johnson in the first round, because I doubt he falls past Chicago at No. 29.