Jalen Johnson's Draft Scouting Report: Pro Comparison, Updated Hawks Roster

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 30, 2021

Duke's Jalen Johnson (1) shoots against Pittsburgh during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

After an abbreviated season at Duke, Jalen Johnson will take the next step in his basketball career with the Atlanta Hawks.  

The 19-year-old was selected with the No. 20 overall pick by the Hawks in the 2021 NBA draft. 

Bleacher Report Draft Expert Jonathan Wasserman's Scouting Report

PlayerJalen Johnson

Position: PF


Pro Comparison: Aaron Gordon

Scouting ReportJohnson's decision to leave Duke midseason shouldn't distract from his physical profile, athleticism and versatility to handle the ball, pass and guard multiple positions. Even without a reliable jumper, he''ll threat to score around the basket and play-make.


Hawks Active Roster and Average Salary (Expiration Year)

Danilo Gallinari, PF: $20.5M (2023)

Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG: $18M (2024)

Clint Capela, C: $18M (2023)

De'Andre Hunter, SF: $7.4M (2023)

Trae Young, PG: $6.6M (2022)

Onyeka Okongwu, PF: $6.0M (2024)

Kris Dunn, PG: $5M (Picked up player option)

Cam Reddish, SF: $4.5M (2023)

Kevin Huerter, SG: $3.0M (2022)

Jalen Johnson, PF: $2.15M (2025)

Bruno Fernando, PF: $1.6M (2022)

Sharife Cooper, G (No. 48 overall pick)


Free Agents

Tony Snell, SG: UFA

Lou Williams, SG: UFA

John Collins, PF: RFA

Solomon Hill, SF: UFA

Brandon Goodwin, PG: RFA

Skylar Mays, SG: RFA

Nathan Knight, PF: RFA

Expectations were extremely high for Johnson with the Blue Devils. He was a 5-star recruit and No. 13 overall player in the 2020 college class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

Things didn't go as planned for the team or the player in 2020-21, though. He only played in 13 games before opting out of the remainder of the season in February to prepare for the NBA draft. 

Johnson showed promise in his brief college career with 11.2 points on 52.3 percent shooting and 6.1 rebounds per game. 

Given his combination of size and shooting prowess, he has the potential to be a difference-maker for the Hawks. He will just need time to develop after limited experience at the college level. 

After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Hawks have newfound expectations heading into 2021-22. Johnson will likely play behind John Collins, assuming he re-signs as a free agent, and that will give him the time to develop his game and refine his skills after cutting his college career short.

Johnson is part of a two-player Hawks draft class that also includes guard Sharife Cooper of Auburn (No. 48).


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