Bold words by Stanley Johnson this week at the NBA Combine, as he believes that he is "the best player in the draft." Many draft experts have Johnson as a top-10 lock, falling no further than No. 9 overall to the Charlotte Hornets.
Johnson's abilities certainly do back his words up to a degree. He can do it all. He can attack the rim, use his mid-range game, and knock down the three at times. He can play lock down defense and his athleticism is unlike any other forward in this draft. His problems lie on his consistency and motor. Stanley will always shoot, there's no changing that, which is why his consistency must improve at the next level. As for his motor, it seems as if Stanley only plays defense when Stanley wants to play defense.
But Johnson will never lose confidence throughout the game. 1-12 for four points vs Ohio State in the round of 32, 4-12 for 15 points vs UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament, 3-19 for 12 points at Utah, 1-9 for seven points vs UCLA at home, 6-17 for 18 points at ASU, 4-14 for 18 points vs SDSU in the Maui Invitational Championship Game. Despite his poor shooting performance throughout the season, albeit in some of the more critical games, he posted double-digit scoring figures in all but six games last season.
Stanley is one of the most versatile players in the draft. With his scoring abilities, length and athleticism, he is an all-around package. Aside from Justise Winslow, Stanley might be the safest pick in the draft in terms of versatility.The ceiling is very high for Stanley Johnson, but so is everyone else's in the NBA Draft. Him being a pick in the tail end of the top-10 helps a lot, going to a team who already has some momentum, as opposed to going to a team with no direction such as New York, Philadelphia or Orlando.
But if you're an NBA GM, you've got to like the confidence in Stanley Johnson. He's a guy that's not afraid to take a shot, as we saw many times this season, and could be the centerpiece of a struggling lottery team. At 6-7, he could guard 1-4 depending on the match-ups.
Let's be real, Reggie Miller did call him the reincarnation of LeBron James.
"Manchild. I’m sorry, I mean, we may be seeing the reincarnation of LeBron James. I mean, LeBron James had this type of body at his age. I mean, he just goes baseline, there’s no help… and obviously the finish and the elevation and the athleticism here by Stanley Johnson."