NBA Draft

Jalen Johnson

Scouting Report

Johnson was supposed to be a one-and-done college star but instead became a half-season disappointment.
He also once figured to be a Top 5 draft selection but won't hear his name called until the middle of the round after his stock plummeted.
With his season at Duke not going the way he forecasted, the 19-year-old Johnson quit the team in mid-February, costing himself any shot at rediscovering his status as a top-flight pick.
He averaged 11.2 points and 6.1 rebounds in 13 games but didn't make the impact that was expected. He said he departed the program because he was doing "what was best for me."
Teams are peppering Johnson with questions about that decision because Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is highly thought of in NBA circles. The overlying thought is finishing out the season and playing in meaningful late-season games would have been better for Johnson's development.
If Johnson becomes a solid NBA starter, nobody will care much that he skipped out on the Blue Devils. But for now, his skill-set and college productivity have rightfully lined him up as a middle first-round pick.
Positives: Johnson was a five-star recruit so he has skills and athleticism that translate to NBA success. He can create his own shots and operates best within 15 feet of the basket. Johnson has solid passing skills for a player his size.
Negatives: Veterans will watch closely to gauge his mental toughness, knowing he essentially quit on his teammates at an elite college program. Johnson isn't much of a 3-point shooter with opponents sometimes backing off him at that range to see if he would take the shot. He had 33 turnovers in 13 college games so his ball-handling needs work.
--Field Level Media

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