Biography: One season at Syracuse turned Johnson from an unheralded transfer to a possible top-five pick. Johnson will be a small forward in the NBA after being used primarily as a power forward in helping the Orange to a top seed in the NCAA tournament and a regional semifinal appearance. He was the Big East player of the year after averaging 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.7 steals. Johnson's athleticism is his biggest asset, most notably his leaping ability and a wingspan that exceeds seven feet. He has an effective set of moves on the perimeter, including a sharp jab step that gives him the needed space to hit from the outside. Johnson shot 41.5 percent from 3-point range this season, a stark improvement from his two seasons at Iowa State, so there is some question if this is a one-year wonder or a new level of consistency. While he does have a decent outside shot, Johnson did not show much in the way of penetrating the basket within a half-court offense and must improve this area of his game. Johnson has been known to try and shoot his way out of slumps by staying on the perimeter instead of sometimes finding an easy basket. Johnson is a smart basketball player with high energy, moves well without the ball, is a good passer for his position and an above-average defensive player when it comes to help side. Since Syracuse played almost exclusively a 2-3 zone defense, it is uncertain just how good an on-the-ball defender Johnson can be. However, since he turns 23 this summer, Johnson should have a fast learning curve to round out his game and justify his lottery selection status.
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