Spurs Prospect Watch: Cameron Johnson

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The San Antonio Spurs are 32-23 after a loss to the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. They’re projected to end up with a pick in the 20s (aside from the Raptors pick, of course). However, this week we will take a look at a potential second-rounder who could slip to the Spurs and who would certainly help with their perceived shooting woes from deep.

While some people think the team doesn’t hit enough threes — their 25 a game is second-to-last in the league — the Spurs do have the highest shooting percentage from beyond the arc. But is there a path for them to take more of those shots while maintaining a high percentage? If you look at this year’s NBA Draft, there’s one prospect who could certainly help in that regard. That is North Carolina forward Cameron Johnson. The 6-foot-9, 210-pound senior has been putting up some great shooting numbers this season:

  • 16 PPG, 1.3 SPG, 2.1 APG, 5.7 RPG
  • 51.6 FG%, 47.7 3P%, 81.2 FT%
  • 24.4 PER, 128.8 ORtg, 95.7 DRtg

Johnson not only shoots the ball very well at all three levels but has a good post-up game against smaller defenders. He has a few go-to moves there, can face up and hit his shots in the mid-range as well. Surely, that’s something Spurs can appreciate. He has gotten better about finishing in traffic, which is a major deficiency for him. He will still need to improve greatly there to be a driver at the next level, but his shooting alone will keep him afloat for a while.

The Tar Heel can shoot from deep and I mean Splashtown deep. His range will definitely help spread out defenses and Spurs guards some operating room on drives. He has a smooth release, a very quick and repeatable shot form as well as the ability to shoot the ball with a hand in his face. He’s a decent shooter off the dribble, but he truly excels at coming off screens, losing his man and getting himself squared and set before his shot.

While Johnson is a better athlete than he’s given credit for, he will still likely struggle guarding some of the forwards in this league. He isn’t quite quick enough to hang with them and stay in front, but does put in the work to be serviceable. With some help there and time with the Austin Spurs, he could end up being just fine on that end.

Shooting makes up for a multitude of sins in basketball, but with Cameron Johnson, there aren’t that many sins to worry about. He’ll have to put on some weight and get a little quicker, but that can be done. He would be an absolute steal in the second round and could be worth a reach with the Raptors pick in the first depending on how the rest of the draft shakes out.

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