2011 NBA Mock Draft: New Jersey Nets Add Frontline Depth with JaJuan Johnson
New Jersey Looks to Build Around Brook Lopez by selecting JaJuan Johnson with pick No. 28 of the 2011 NBA Draft
The Nets' organization continues to be in flux after missing out on LeBron James then Carmelo Anthony.
It remains to be seen exactly how long Deron Williams wants to stay with the Nets--and if he can stay healthy long enough to make his impact felt.
Despite the uncertainty, New Jersey has a reliable building block on the block in the form of Brook Lopez.
JaJuan Johnson's midrange touch makes him a perfect compliment to Lopez, assuming he is able to add some beef to his lanky frame.
Johnson dominated the Big Ten Conference for much of the last two seasons. It's not easy to knock a guy who averaged 20 points and nine rebounds per game, bu tJohnson's critics point out those numbers came against largely inferior inside competition.
Aran Smith of NBAdraft.net writes,
“Weight appears to be a long term issue for him. He has not been able to put on significant weight in his time at Purdue … Wears an undershirt which appears to hide his lack of strength in his shoulders.”
The undershirt theory strikes again.
In fairness to Johnson, he did put on at least 20 pounds during his career at Purdue and even shed that undershirt during his senior season.
Whether NBA scouts like it or not, the 6-10 forward isn't likely to pack on much more muscle before he reaches the next level.
Pro Projection: Johnson appears poised to join the distinguished list of so-called "tweeners" at the NBA level.
His game has drawn comparisons to Hakim Warrick and Joe Smith, in terms of being a decent mid-range jump shooter who never had enough bulk to bang on the block.
Both Warrick and Smith never had a big enough impact to be counted on as an effective starter in the NBA.
In the right situation, Johnson could have an impact as a scorer off the pine. If he does add strength, he could become a David West-type player able to take advantage of the talent around him.
Assuming his All-Star point guard stays healthy and interested.
Ultimately, Johnson will likely give the Nets another mediocre player who can be used in trades to bring big-named superstars to Brooklyn.
For more player analysis, check out Bleacher Report's NBA Draft hub
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