Wes Johnson: NBA Draft Profile and Scouting Report
Wesley Johnson, Syracuse -- 2010 NBA Draft Profile
Position: Shooting Guard / Small Forward | Height: 6-7 | Weight | 205
Class: Junior | Age: 22 | Hometown: Corsicana, TX
2009 Stats: 16.5 points | 8.5 rebounds | 2.2 assists | 1.8 blocks | 1.7 assists | Game Log
NBA Mock Draft Ranking: 4
Wes Johnson on Twitter: @W_johnson | Wes Johnson Video Highlights: YouTube
Wesley Johnson Scouting Report
Strengths: Johnson has a beautifully high arcing stroke which he exhibits with ease and confidence beyond the 3-point line. While he occasionally played the four in Jim Boeheim's system, he should make a smooth transition to an NBA three, where his ability to score and defend will serve him very well. He's a versatile player who -- along with John Wall, Evan Turner and Derrick Favors -- has the best chance in this draft to become a 20-point scorer and future All-Star. And despite his wiry frame, he is a durable (11 times he played all 40 minutes). At 6-7, 205 pounds, this is a kid that moves very well. His lateral quickness was evident even in Syracuse 2-3 match-up zone, which should tell scouts that he has the tools to be a quality defender. What stands out most is that he appears versatile enough to play either the top or the bottom of the match-up, meaning he is long enough to bother shorter guards and quick enough to disrupt bigger and stronger players.
Weaknesses: In the Syracuse sets, so much of his offense came from the 8-20-foot range that he hardly exposed himself to getting hit. And while he did take advantage of mismatches created by his quickness at the collegiate level, he often failed to show the necessary counter-move when his first move was deterred. In other words, when he decides to jab right and make a move going left that's cut off, he doesn't know what to do. Sometimes he's able to create good separation using a step-back or even a spin move, but usually, he gets in trouble. Since he's not a sound ball-handler yet, this is where many of his turnovers come, or when he takes a contested shot.
Forecast: The ball-handling is important, yes, but if he can develop a comfort level from the post, his prospects as an NBA player will skyrocket. He already has the leaping ability and length to create mismatches -- something that can't be taught. What he must do at the next level is learn the necessary (albeit extremely challenging) footwork of a back-to-the-basket scorer. The little wrinkles in his game will open up everything else -- up-and-unders, scoring off both shoulders, and perhaps toughest of all, keeping defenders off balance and getting them in the air. Johnson doesn't have to be a dominant post scorer, but if he consistently gets 4-6 points a game there, then his entire offensive game will flow -- everything, from threes to drives to pull-ups. This would be instrumental to his success because he has already proven to show a consistent shooting stroke, at 50.5 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from three.
Whether he's a future All-Star is debatable, but at 22 Johnson still has plenty of upside. He has all the tools to be a top two defender and a double-digit scorer who can both rebound and pass the ball -- the perfect combination of skills from the small forward position. In other words, even if he's not a 20 and 5 guy, Johnson's contributions will sprinkle across the stat sheet -- something like 16, 6, and 4 -- while providing all of the essential intangibles winning teams require in the NBA. He is a valuable pick worth using in the 5-10 range.
Wes Johnson Articles:
3/25: Butler Knocks Off Top-Seeded Syracuse
3/25: NCAA Eye for the NBA Guy
3/19: NCAA Eye for the NBA Guy: Day 2
More Scouting Reports: DraftExpress | NBADraft.net