It is August of 2014. The Sixers have had what most people accept as two consecutive good-to-incredible drafts. But they're still gonna lose 50+ games, so it's not like we're not gonna pay attention to the 2015 NBA Draft already. It's been over a month since we've gotten fed a new prospect. You're hungry, I'm hungry. I could write 2,000 words on Aaron Craft's baby brother (probably "Cole" or something) and you'd buy in.
Thankfully, we have Stanley Johnson. And I present him to you in a manila envelope marked TOP 5 PROSPECT in next June's draft. I just saw Stan participating in adidas Nations this past weekend, where he was one of the college counselors. At age 18, he matched up with and held his own against Arron Afflalo. Son.
WHAT'S HE LOOK LIKE
A human man, only like five times bigger. He's a wing -- 6'11 wingspan, but incredibly girthy. Like a potted plant with thick arms and trunk legs. He's the most impossible looking college freshman I've seen in some time.
He also has cute hair and wears high socks well.
WHAT'S HE DO
Also I Love Him
Also I Love Him
A lot, thank you for asking!
The most universally describable term for his game is "compact." The same way a baseball pitcher or a golfer gets credit for no wasted movement, the same can be said about Johnson. He knows what to do, and he's gonna do it, and he's not gonna do anything else but it. It It It.
You'd be hard-pressed to find something in his game he won't be potentially tremendous at. Great rebounder and defender for his position. Gets after it, man. All the intangibles you could vaguely ask for because intangibles are intangible -- but he's got 'em. Handles well, freight train in transition.
But my favorite part of his game, aside from ALL OF IT YES PLEASE, is how much he loves contact. His favorite movie is Contact starring Jodie Foster and pre-McConnaissance McConaughey -- that's how much he loves contact. Dude will finish through anything. He wants to get to the rim, he will get to the rim, you will not stop him, how does his elbow taste, you will not stop him.
WHAT'S HE DON'T DO
Okay, so he hasn't produced a consistent jumper yet. But I like the form, and it's gotten better since I saw him at Elite24 a couple years ago as a wandering mass of athletic clay. He was the youngest player in the college counselors game at Nations and he scored 13 points, second to only UCLA senior Norman Powell. He's very good right now.
Turnovers are an issue. But he's so good at everything else that teams just give him the ball for most of the game. He's not a point guard, natch, so once he's depended on to handle it less and just be his wingish self, I expect that will be alleviated.
I think he ends up a Top 3 pick next year. Cannot wait to watch him play at Arizona next to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. If T.J. McConnell doesn't get him the ball enough, I will seethe. Nobody needs to see Kaleb Tarczewski fumbling in the post. Give the ball to
I want him. Deliver him to me.