Draft profiles: Orlando johnson, 6'5, 220 lbs, SG, UCSB

Draft profiles: Orlando johnson, 6'5, 220 lbs, SG, UCSB

Johnson's a sleeper pick from a low to mid-major type school, UCSB.   He's strong as an ox, has a tremendous wingspan at 6’11, and is a solid shooter.  He overcomes a lot of weaknesses with a solid all-around game, but most importantly, his will to win.

Athletic Ability

Athletically, Orlando is probably slightly below average laterally and straight speed relative to other shooting guards prospects.  He is able to mask it with his great basketball IQ, a body that will punish other shooting guards, a will to want it, and a freakishly long wing-span.  He is above average vertically which should help him in finishing at times.


At 6’4 to 6’5, and weighing 220 lbs., he may be slightly (I mean very slight) shorter at the shooting guard position, but his great wing-span and physicality will easily make up for any lack of height. He should hold his own at the next level.

Off-Court Issues

There are no noted off-the-court issues.

Basketball IQ and want it factor

Orlando possesses a great basketball IQ.   He knows how to get shots off in the post against taller opponents, knows how to use his body against opponents, and knows where to be at most times.

The best thing about Orlando is desire.  He plays extremely hard and supposedly works as hard off the court as anyone.  He is very determined and that alone makes me think he will make it in the NBA.   I also feel he has that feel as a team player which is important.


Orlando is a tough-nose, spot shooter, with solid size at the NBA Shooting Guard Position.   He shoots very well when spotting up for threes, and solidly from mid range.  He can post up smaller defenders and overpower opponents to get his shot off.

However, while Orlando is a solid shooter and tough player, how will his power game translate at the next level?  Will he be able to simply post up shooting guards and just shoot crazy over-powering shots with shot blockers roaming the lane?  While his ball-handling is not bad, he does not possess a great first step.  Will he be able to get to the lane to get his shot off?   The good news is that he plays with patience.

Naturally, I have serious concerns on how some of his game translates outside of his shooting at the next level offensively.   I think he will make a NBA Roster, but I think it will take time for him to adjust.  He possesses enough skills to occasionally post-up and occasionally shot-fake to get to the mid-range, but he will have to hone those skills.

Defensively, he has average lateral speed.  Due to his lengthy wing-span, I think he should be an adequate defender by using his body to set off the driving paths of opposing shooting guards.   In Coach Thibs system, he would be an above average defender.

I think he will be a solid player at the next level if he can adjust to being a role player.   I think he is a solid shooter, a great work ethic, tough, and could be an above average defender.  However, I just wonder how the rest of his game translates to ever being more than just a role player.  I also think his game will be more efficient since he will not have to be the go-to-scorer.


Overall, while I think he will have a career in the NBA with limited talent at the shooting guard position and his ability to provide toughness and shooting in one package, he will need to adjust to the NBA speed.  A lot is going to depend on his workouts.  I do think he will be solid at the next level as he learns to adjust to not being the go-to-option.  He seems like a winner and will adjust his game.  I don’t think you can go wrong with drafting him in the late first/early second.

The big thing again is the workouts.  If reports are true and he has lost weight and looks quicker, then we are talking about a huge difference.  However, based on his game at the college game, he took a while to gather himself to get shots against lower to mid-major type programs.   He does seem to have that knack to using hesitation dribbles which has worked for players such as James Harden, Manu Ginoboli, and Paul Pierce, but will need to improve his skill at it to be effective.

The good news for Orlando is even though he played at a smaller school, he fared well against all competition including when playing higher marquee matchups.

How does he fit with the Bulls?

I think Orlando normally would provide everything that the Bulls need.  He is a solid role playing shooting guard (at his best, maybe similar to an Aaron Affalo or a Bobby Phils, not as quite of a sharpshooter such as Jodie Meeks, or, eh, at worst, Keith Bogans).  

However, depending on who is available, I wouldn’t mind taking a chance on someone else or buying a second round pick if he's still around.  I would not be mad if we drafted him at all in the first, but would rather try on someone such as Kevin Murphy that possesses a little more upside in terms of scoring at the same position.  However, if it came down to Orlando Johnson and taking a chance on a player such as Tyshawn Taylor or Fab Melo, I feel more confident in Orlando providing quality play due to basketball IQ and not making careless mistakes.

With this draft, it may not be deep in star talent, it is deep in quality and some talent that might still be unharnessed in the late first round.  I would rather take a flier on someone with high basketball IQ, but also someone that might make a bigger impact.

However, stating all this, this is based on how his game translated at the college level.   He has one of those high IQ type games that needs to be monitored more closely in workouts.  I do feel he has more upside than a Doron Lamb type, but maybe not as elite at a skill such as shooting like a John Jenkins or overall scoring such as Kevin Murphy. I feel with the way the roster is constructed, we need more impact in scoring.  He does bring more overall solid game.


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  • Exactly how I feel in terms of the Bulls fits. I personally dont think he will translate well, or at least well enough to make a big enough impact for us. I think we need someone who can score and score well. Extremly agree on Kevin Murphy since I believe the other players we are looking at will be gone. ala Jenkins, Lamb, Nicholson etc. If I would rank them in terms of who I know will be avail.


    thats not counting on who is borderline to be gone by our pick as well.

    I hope we buy a secound rounder tho. We could use some more young cheap talent.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Agree Nicholson and Lamb will be gone at 29. If we can find a way to trade up to the early 20's we could probably get one of those two as things stand now. A lot of people would throw Jeff Taylor into the mix of as well.

    You mentioned Will Barton, and purely based on skill he's a first rounder with NBA offensive talent written all over him in my book. The problem is to me his personality seems a little flighty as in immature. He likes to yell at his coach among other things. Though I can't blame him somewhat as Josh Pastner does not impress me as a coach when it comes to presence or leadership.

    My short list: (remember Marcus Thornton was listed as a second rounder)

    A. Nicholson
    D. Lamb
    J. Taylor
    D.J-Odom(NBA ready, IMO most sure fire, lower ceiling)
    W. Barton
    J. Jenkins(lower due to poor lat. quickness and defense)
    J. Crowder

    Agree about second rounders. If ever there was a year to pick up an early second rounder this would be it provided Bulls could find cap space or were making some through amnesty or trades for picks. If Barton dropped or Odom got picked up and we somehow got Nicholson or Lamb I'd be.. very pleased.

  • Nice review Kevin.

    I remember watching Orlando play last year in a conference game. So many times in mid major or smaller conferences you see guys who can dominate in the lane undersized PF's and strong shifty guards that bully the lesser competition. Things they just wont be able to do in the NBA against bigger, more athletic competition. I wrote him off for this reason.

    However, he is impressive in his effort and as a person I was very impressed with interviews I watched him in. He's only 6'3 or 6'4 in shoes, but his crazy wingspan 6'11 makes him more like 6'5 with his strong body. The problem is he doesn't seem to possess elite lateral quickness so that is a question defensively.

    You have to like his volume three point shooting at over five a game at over 40% two straight years. And he did shoot 80% from the line on over six attemtps per game.

    His handle to me looks better then advertised, and would be good for a SF. I just believe shooting to a large extent comes from energy meaning inside out. His ability to score at will in the lane on post scrums has fueled his three point shooting. He has shot in the 60's twice from the foul line and barely cracked 70 the other. So three out of four years shows inconsistent ability.

    Overall due to his character, three point shooting, and good effort he gives along with prolific scoring(albeit an overeliance on paint scrums likely not translateable) I would not be horrified if the Bulls drafted him, but he would probably not be someone I would choose.

    Side note: I seriously wish hand size would become a pre-draft measurement example Russell Westbrook. If not for his huge hands, he'd never be able to blow by just about anybody at will. Andrew Nicholson has huge hands as does Kawhi Leonard which to me helps a lot being a successful driver. If Orlando had above average to huge hands to go along with his 6'11 wingspan I might feel differently about him as his handle does look solid to me in the half court especially.

  • I like this kid and wouldn't be mad at all if we selected him. I've watched some of his interviews and he seems like a good guy who just wants to win. I'm probably in the minority, but I get a Willie Green-esque feel from this guy.

  • Hey all thank you for the feedback. ManonNeptune; that might be a solid comparison there. I just want to risk for a little more impact though. As for some saying that we will not get Lamb, Nicholson, etc.. someone is going to slide or we can always trade up a few slots if we want someone like that. This is too deep not for someone to slide.

    Thanks all for feedback. Road, there has been mention that Jenkins has a lost some weight and is a little quicker - if so, that would be a huge difference.

  • Since everybody is interested in moving up, here is a question for you.

    How high in the draft could the Bulls get if they offered the 29th pick and the future Charlotte pick. Can we get into the lottery, top 10.

    Would Houston trade us both their picks 14 & 16 for that package. Houston seems to need/want size, so they might want to see if Zellar or Leonard are available at those picks.

    They could use an upgrade at small forward, with Chandler Parsons and Chase Budinger, would they trade both picks for Deng. Would we.

  • Daily boozer trade thoughts.

    Yesterday I suggested trading boozer to the Wizards for Rashard Lewis, or thinking big and offering Deng and boozer for Lewis and the #3 pick in the draft.

    Lewis has only one year left on his contract, but at nearly $23 million.

    But the Wiz has another contract that might be considered even worse than Lewis, that would be Andray Blatche, who will make over $23 million over the next 3 seasons, and he is a world class knuckle head, they really want to get him away from John Wall.

    How about boozer for Blatche, which would save us between $7-8 million per year over the next 3 seasons. Or think big again, and offer Deng and boozer for Blatche, the #3 pick, and Trevor Booker.

    For the bulls this accomplishes the same thing, but stretches out the pain over 3 years instead of getting rid of it in one. However, it at least pays for either Asik's or Taj's new contract without amnestitizing boozer.

    For the Wizards it means making the playoffs next season, instead of waiting several more years.

    Of course the best deal would be sending boozer to Real Madrid for the instant buy out of Mirotic, so that he can play for the Bulls this year.

  • With the new Death Tax aka restrictive CBA, I just wonder without amnestying Boozer, what other way can the Bulls keep control of their roster without jettisoning one of their big salaries or trading Taj, which I don't want to do, but his value should be prettty high right now coming off his impressive playoff showing. How high a pick could you get for a big salary(Deng) or for Taj or could he be part of a packag for a scorer?

    Scenario 1) Trade Deng to a team that can absorb his salary for how high a draft pick? Knowing they are renting a player for a season and a half, and then clearing $14 Mil in cap space or using that possibly as a valuable trading chip. I hate trading Lu as he was a warrior this season, but all these high salaries are too restrictive for any roster movement. Somebody needs a change of scenery with the cloud of injuries hanging over this team. Lu plus an expiring or option player to cushion the blow for say Toronto's No.8 plus we take back Amir Johnson's $6 Mil contract. Certainly someone would take Amir for free(9ppg .500 FG's) if we threw in a couple of future second rounders..??

    If so then the No. 8 you get perhaps the most sure fire guards in this draft according to many in Jeremy Lamb or Bradley Beal.

    Scenario 2) Deng and Taj packaged for a potent scorer. That's a big chunk of winning basketball, but again Lu is just chronically injured, and needs a change of venue to break the curse. And we need a pentrating scorer for Derrick. Who could we get?

    Scenario 3) Keep the core, and amnesty Boozer. Pay the $3-5 Mil a year, and set yourselves free hoping in this deep draft you can add an offensive solid talent or better admittedly with luck. If they could clear enough, but still be at a place to offer the full M.L.E for Steve Nash, and play Derrick at the two it would be interesting. And if not Nash then you still have other options with Boozer's huge block of salary free and clear. They say with rose out we need Boozer's scoring, but his poor defense taketh away what his offense giveth.

  • How about trading Deng to either the Warriors for Wright and the 7th pick, or to the Raptors for Calderon and the 8th pick? Ideally the first trade would be better for us, as we get a starting 3 and can draft Jeremy Lamb. Or if it's the second scenario, Calderon comes off the books after next year, and we'll have some cap flexibility. It would be even better if the Raptors would take Boozer and send us some other pieces, maybe the Barbosa trade exception. Just a few thoughts...

  • In reply to RC360:

    I'd be down for either if we got Lamb, but doubt the Bulls would pull the trigger!

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