Armon Johnson, 6'4", 200 lbs, G, Nevada
The 6'4" Chicago native hasn't drawn a lot of publicity because of a late transition to the point guard role.
Early on, he was known to have a score-first mentality, where such capabilities afforded the 21-year-old bragging rights over his high school nemesis and college teammate, Luke Babbitt, for all-time scorers place, which was held by Babbitt the year previous.
Armon Johnson, in my opinion, is the second best point guard in this year's NBA Draft to John Wall, and he's definitely in constant distance with Kentucky's Wildcat.
Johnson doesn't appear to have the fabled past, coming from obscured beginnings in Chicago, making way to Reno, then declaring for 2010's June 24th in hopes of hearing his name called.
But I also wouldn't sneeze at his game for one second.
His abilities on the court are high quality, almost manipulative with the old school caressing of the basketball, using his backside very well, and displaying high IQ on every isolation.
Also, his mid-range game is probably better than Bradley's, who most not only consider the best lock-down defender on the perimeter among prospects of 2010, but covers a lot of ground with his mid-range capabilities.
Johnson differs in that he can post up other guards and adjust to an array of moves to score or create from mid-range (or post.) He has that patented and pompous style of rising and hanging in the air for a field goal.
For most, rarely is it noticed that Johnson is on the court at times, demonstrating a refinement to get others involved, pushing the rock up the court, and driving to kick.
He doesn't have poor intangibles or any other risky tangibles surrounding his contour. He's willing to play defense and communicate via the coach.
And like a lot of superb guards at lead position, Armon's blessed with a unique feel for handling the basketball in execution methods, some NBA athleticism, and overall projectability for way of his frame.
And unfortunately like a lot of guards in Armon's mold, there's been a trend of overwhelming percentages hinting that such guard prospects come in the league raw from 29-feet-out.
So in his case, gaining confidence in the shooter's touch is crucial, as he lined a near 30 percent across the statistic sheet, which wasn't faulting as much when considering the scoring responsibility of his college teammates—Fields and Babbitt.
So, definitely the role there is understood. But at some point Johnson has to jolt the numbness out of his handicap-jumper.
And when he attacks the bucket, Johnson uses that explosiveness for two easy(s) or initiates enough contact for the benefit of a foul call. His body is very filled, allowing him to dismiss any possible doubt whether if a 82-game season may serve a full course of detriment.
His personality on the court forfeits the idea of any wrong doing on and off the court. Also, an underrated part of his game is the deceptive courting with his back to the basket at the top of the key, often resembling that of Sidney Moncrief or Andre Miller. And those traits are signs of readiness.
And just like that, it's not a rusty cloud hovering in my mind that Johnson's overset of going lottery won't address itself if by chance such lends. Indiana needs a PG; Chicago could use a backup PG in the least; Clippers could use a PG.
And I also wouldn't be surprised if Grizzlies drafted him with their first pick, or Miami Heat for that matter. I expect his name to be called earlier than expected.
Chicago Stags (a.k.a. Chicago Bulls)
After essentially watching Paul and Collison co-exist for a 41 PER and never scending for a ripple effect, I see no peril surrounding Johnson's selection at 17.
He's a safe pick and a better regarded prospect than Collison if you ask me. And given a trade that can run its chance, Hinrich may be dealt in any frequent scenarios for the betterment of Bulls.
So I actually sense more purity from a point-man production on Johnson's behalf, as Rose sometimes drifts away from the ball and forces Deng-less, Hinrich-less, and others to create for themselves.
So, yeah, there's a need in that department. Will the Bulls draft a point guard to buffer Rose's drawbacks? Don't know. We'll see.