With the NBA Draft fast approaching, and the Early Entry List set, it's time to examine more in depth some of the players who could be available for each of the Pacers three picks. (I am operating under the assumption Dallas will be sending us their 2nd round pick this year, not next, to complete the Shawne Williams deal. June 1st is the final deadline for Dallas to decide.)
Obviously, the Pacers 1st Round pick is the most exciting and has the most potential for value. As we need a lot of improvement in all areas, I will be looking at players who should be available for all three picks. My plan is to post two profiles a day, for 2nd rounders, until the Draft Lottery on May 18th. After the team's first round position is finalized, I'll begin profiling 1st Rounders.
These profiles cover players I believe have some value to offer the Pacers next season and in the future. These profiles are not intended to advocate for one player over another, just examine their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss in some detail what they have to offer. For each profile I provided Ten Important Statistics to guide the discussion. When discussing how each player can help the Pacers I will try to specifically reference the team needs I identified in Setting the Table for the Pacers Summer. Here is who we will be looking at today:
Armon Johnson - PG - 6'3" 195 lbs. - University of Nevada
- Johnson has a great physical profile for an NBA point guard. He has excellent size and strengthto go along with above average speed and quickness.
- He has good shooting form, and has the potential to be a consistent shooter.
- His speed and quickness allow him to be effective with dribble penetration.
- Johnson appears to have good court-vision in both transition and the half-court. He will still occasionally exhibit shot-hunter tendencies in the half-court.
- Some highlights:
- Johnson has developed some bad habits. He has the capability to be a consistent shooter, but his shot selection is terrible. Too often he shoots off-balance, off-the-dribble jumpers with a hand in his face. This means his shooting mechanics have been very inconsistent. This is one of the reasons his 3PT% was so low this season.
- He is very good attacking the basket, but he gotten into the habit of settling for floaters, or short jumpers,shying away from contact. This has kept his FG% high, but he only went to the line 4 times per 40 minutes this season, a paltry total for such an effective penetrator.
- His FT% declined significantly this season, down to 67.8%.
- Despite his physical tools, Johnson was terrible on the defensive end this season. A lot of this is due to his poor fundamentals and effort level. Draftexpress noted that he was beat off the dribble "constantly" this season, which is inexcusable for a player withhis length and quickness.
How he can help the Pacers -
- Anyone who selects Armon Johnson will be drafting on his potential. He has tremendous physical tools and natural skills, but he has some incredible poor habits and fundamentals. The Pacers would have to believe that they can help develop his game out of these tendencies.
- Johnson is a guy who could eventually play solid minutes as an NBA point guard. I said this in other profiles, but picking Johnson would show a lot about how the Pacers feel about A.J. Price. Johnson has more potential to be a starter than most of the other point guards in the second round, but he is still a few years away from being able to assume that role. For the next few years he would most likely be a back-up, which would conflict with the role Jim O'Brien has tagged for Price. Johnson could be a solid pick based on his potential, but the point guard uncertainty makes it hard to predict what his role might be with the team for the next few years.
More Information -