In this latest instalment of draft profiles, I will be looking at Cameron Johnson.
College Team: Univ North Carolina (Senior)
Height: 6’8" – 6’9"
Wingspan: No-one seems to know, guess we will find out at combine if he is invited.
2018-19 Stats: Over 36 games in around 30min per game he averages 17pts, 5reb, 0.3blk, 1.2stl, 2.4ast at 51% FG, 46% 3P and 82% FT.
Projected Draft Spot: Mid 1st Rd – Mid 2nd Rd.
By far Johnson’s greatest strength is his shooting, and ability to score. He is also able to post up smaller defenders when backing down at the rim and can score consistently while on the move. He will for sure be a deep threat at the pro level. His passing is also a plus, and will benefit team mates in his ability to not cause ball movement to stagnate.
Defensively Johnson is well, solid at best (as his stats show), however, he is able to pull down rebounds consistently. Defensively, he does have room to grow and has the foundational skills and physical characteristics to become an above-average defender.
His defensive abilities are perhaps his greatest weakness. He does have size and strength but doesn’t use it too well to get blocks and steals regularly. He also struggles to guard quicker players. His third game in this year’s tournament does show that he does have some defensive capabilities, and perhaps under the right tutelage those skills can end up being on the plus-side in the NBA.
Offensively, Johnson struggles to finish over taller players when attacking the rim, and while he is a great shooter, he can struggle with getting a shot off when his shot is being contested.
Johnson had a good NCAA tournament, especially at the offensive end, however his effort in most games didn’t seem to show up at all in the stats. He did have one game defensively.
Game 1: 21pts, 7 reb, 0stl, 0blks, 4ast – with 4 from 8 beyond the arc.
Game 2: 13 pts, 3 reb, 0stl, 0blks, 7ast – with 3 from 8 beyond the arc.
Game 3: 15pts, 5reb, 3stl, 1blks, 0ast. – with 2 from 7 beyond the arc.
For a tournament average of – 16pts, 5 reb, 1stl, 0blks, 4ast – with 9 from 23 beyond the arc which equates to approx. 39%.
NBA Player Comparison: Justin Jackson, Walt Williams, Steve Smith.
Fit with the Spurs:
Well to be honest, Johnson is a little bit like DeRozan, just with the ability to shoot it from the outside, and well that ability to shoot it from beyond the arc is a skill set the Spurs need, especially from their wing position. The knock on Johnson would be his defensive compatibility with the Spurs. Forbes, Bertans, Mills, Belinelli and DeRozan all can’t defend at anything resembling well above average, and to add Johnson may very well limit his fit with the Spurs. He certainly has the size and skills to develop into an above average defender, and he may surprise like Murray has on that end of the court, but it would need several seasons of solid, continual development for him to be on the plus side defensively at the pro level. He is projected to go at the end of the 1st, or into the top of the second. If there are no other option at the 29th spot, then he might get picked for his offensive abilities alone.
Next Profile: Charles Bassey