Spurs Prospect Watch: Johnny Juzang

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Johnny Juzang
Johnny Juzang - UCLA

The San Antonio Spurs have a clear problem in their lineup and that is a lack of shooting. You might remember Paul Garcia and I discussing that recently and this week’s prospect fits that profile perfectly. UCLA wing Johnny Juzang is a 6-foot-6, 210-pound guard who can absolutely light it up.

Juzang also benefited the most from the NCAA Tournament as he was an unstoppable scorer and had incredible performances throughout the tournament. He had over 25 points in games against Gonzaga (29), Michigan (28), and BYU (27) in the postseason. To get a better idea of what he did over the course of the season, here are his stats.

Stats

  • 16 PPG, 1.6 APG, 4.1 RPG, 0.8 SPG
  • 44.1 FG%, 35.3 3P%, 87.7 FT%
  • 19.7 PER, 110.1 ORtg, 103.9 DRtg

While Juzang seemed nearly unstoppable in the NCAA Tournament and near the end of the regular season, he does have some issues in his game. He is not a reliable defender and might be considered just a serviceable one at this moment in time. He gets lost often and has trouble staying in front of a ball-handler 1-on-1. With the right coaching, he might become a decent defender, but it will require patience.

However, his shot-making ability is superb. That was on full display during the tournament and he proved that he was a mid-range master as well as a solid shot creator. He’s able to get his shot off against collegiate defenders, but he doesn’t have the burst to beat defenders off the dribble. That could prove fatal at the NBA level as he can’t rely solely on screens to get open.

Because Juzang is mostly a pull-up shooter, he doesn’t get to the free throw line often despite being great from there. However, he rebounds well for his position and has shown he is a decent enough passer. He made the most of his time at UCLA after transferring from Kentucky and while he has retained his eligibility if he wants to return to school, he would be a likely second-rounder this year.

There have been some mock drafts that have seen him shoot up into the first round, but those are probably a bit overzealous.

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