The Chicago Bulls selected James Johnson with the 16th pick of the draft. Johnson has been the man I’ve hoped the Bulls would take since I began scouting players for the draft ranking 9th overall on my personal draft board. Johnson excels at taking players off the dribble. He has the weight and bulk to bang with guys, but he has the ball handling of a guard. He’s physical, doesn’t settle for shots, and attacks the basket relentlessly.
The largest downside to Johnson is probably that he’s 22 years old which is very old for a sophomore and fairly old for a draft prospect overall. However, if Johnson develops a jumper he will be a deadly player. He has some of the better upside in the draft in my opinion as well as being able to contribute immediately.
The upside of Johnson could be that he’s a matchup nightmare who can take PFs off the dribble and overpower SFs. The downside is that he could be a tweener who doesn’t find a niche. Given how frequently and successfully the Bulls went small last year, Johnson could be deadly in a running small lineup in the NBA where he can handle the ball at the four.
I couldn’t be happier with the selection though. Best value and best player on the board in my opinion.