The 2021 NBA draft will take place Thursday, July 29 with the Detroit Pistons holding the No. 1 pick. The Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic round out the top five selections.
We take a look at some of the prospects available in this draft, gauge their strengths, weaknesses, NBA comparisons and best landing spot within the player’s projected draft range. Here’s a breakdown for Tennessee guard Keon Johnson.
Johnson is an explosive finisher and can get to the rim consistently with ease. He’s got a good midrange game, which provides optimism for his shooting at the next level. Johnson is also a decent defender for his position and should continue to improve. At 19, his development curve is great.
He’s not a great three-point shooter and struggled to deliver a big performance until late in the season against Kentucky. His inability or unwillingness to distribute the ball is problem, especially when he tries to take on multiple defenders on a drive. He’ll have to bulk up to deal with bigger guards in the NBA.
Johnson has the potential to be a mix between Russell Westbrook and Ja Morant. He’s got the explosiveness and attacking style similar to those players, but needs to improve as a passer to truly make a big leap.
Best Landing Spot
The Tennessee guard is expected to go early in the lottery and potentially could be picked in the top five. The Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors and Orlando Magic will be in play for Johnson. Of those three, the Thunder make the most sense as a long-term developmental home for the explosive prospect.