NBA Draft Profile: Amir Johnson
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Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Power Forward, 6-10, 220
Strengths: Johnson is tall and athletic, which is a combination all NBA teams are looking for these days. His athleticism was on full display in March at the McDonald's All-American Game slam-dunk contest, where he threw down perhaps the best dunk of the showcase by taking off from the free-throw line. There aren't many 6-10 guys who have that kind of athleticism and grace. He's an excellent rebounder and shot-blocker thanks to his length, and he runs the floor like a guard. He also has a nice touch on his jumper, with range out to the college 3-point line.
Weaknesses: While he has a solid jumper and can score around the basket thanks to his athleticism, Johnson's offensive skills are far from refined. He doesn't have a go-to move and lacks a skilled back-to-the-basket offensive game. He's also extremely thin for a guy who'll have to bang with bigger players in the NBA — let's just say he doesn't exactly put the power in power forward. Although he has great potential, he's just not ready for the NBA yet.
The Lowdown: Johnson was all set to learn under Rick Pitino at Louisville, but he hasn't been able to get the necessary test scores to be academically eligible in college. He still hasn't hired an agent and could withdraw from the draft by the June 21 deadline, but it looks more and more like he'll stay in the draft if he can't get his academics in order. He's definitely an intriguing prospect, especially after a solid showing in a workout alongside first-round prospect Randolph Morris last week. Johnson is unlikely to sneak into the first round, but some team will snag him in the second round and stash him on the bench if he stays in the draft.