Dub Nation HQ Draft Tourney: #4 Keon Johnson vs #13 Chris Duarte
Young, explosive athlete vs older sharpshooter
The whole tournament is at 2021 Dub Nation HQ Draft Tournament.
Your mission is to decide which of these two you would prefer the Warriors draft at #7 this year. I’ll bring the scouting reports, you bring the vote.
Mock Drafts For GSW: Zielonka, Field Level Media
Profile from Sports-Reference.com
Per 40: Archie Goodwin, Dejounte Murray, Scottie Barnes, Trevor Ariza, Ziaire Williams, Al-Farouq Aminu, Gerald Wallace, Tony Wroten, Lance Stephenson
Advanced: Archie Goodwin, Dejounte Murray, Jaylen Brown, Jaden McDaniels, Nico Mannion, Marquis Teague, Troy Brown, Tony Wroten, Ziaire Williams,
NBA Draft Room Comp: Jaylen Brown
Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: He's the type of high-upside prospect who could really return great value. Overall, he's still in need of some zest and seasoning on offense. And I'm not convinced he would command big minutes right away. But he's athletically gifted as a vertical leaper with tons of promise after showing some impressive stuff on tape as a creator and on the defensive side of the ball.
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: An elite athlete, Johnson has the kind of twitch and explosion most players only dream of possessing. At 6-foot-5, he can jump out of the gym and has real burst as a driver. He’s also an elite defender on the ball already, where he uses that length and quickness to really cause issues for players at the one through three spots. He’s just very raw on offense right now. The jumper needs work, as he’s essentially a non-shooter right now — at least efficiently. He also needs to work on his handle and driving ability. But once Tennessee let him loose late in the season, Johnson was pretty good. He averaged 14.4 points, four rebounds and three assists over his final 12 games, including a bevy of impressive highlights that showcase what his upside is if he can keep rounding out his game.
Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer: SHADES OF Latrell Sprewell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Gary Harris
Explosive athlete with raw skills who flashes the ability to someday become an excellent go-to scorer.
Accelerates like a Tesla, with fluid change of direction and the explosiveness to launch up to the rim.
Already a force as a straight-line driver and has long-term upside to be a threatening pick-and-roll scorer if his ballhandling skills improve.
Lean but has the frame to add muscle. He could live at the free throw line as he gets stronger and his skills improve.
Active on-ball defender who displays good technique and aggressiveness fighting through screens and moving laterally to stay in front of opposing lead guards. At his size and length, he projects to be versatile.
Instinctual off-ball defender who’s impactful in the passing lanes. Will try to take charges and will crash the boards.
Already a lottery-caliber prospect despite not playing organized basketball full-time until high school.
Inconsistent shooter who needs to tweak his mechanics and extend his range. Has a slight hitch in his release, which might be the cause of his dry spells. Fixing it could also help with his ability to hit 3s: He lived in the midrange and didn’t make a single pull-up 3 all season.
Needs to tighten his handle and add more advanced moves to maximize his clear upside as a shot creator. A lot of his moves need to be quicker.
Shaky decision-maker at this stage—too often over-dribbles himself into traffic, leading to sloppy turnovers.
Jon Chepkevich: Statistical best comparisons are
Johnson’s perceived high-ceiling/low-floor draft stock is exemplified in this array of comparisons.
He’s most statistically similar to former Kentucky one-and-done combo guard Archie Goodwin, who was a first-round pick in the 2013 NBA draft and didn’t even make it through his rookie contract. Goodwin started only 15 games over three-plus seasons, posting underwhelming career marks of 6.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game on an inefficient 45.5 eFG%. A scary comparison floor to say the least.
Throughout the rest of the list, however, you see why many scouts find Johnson’s upside tantalizing. Sharing statistical similarities with this array of uber-athletic MVP’s, All-Stars and solid defensive guards is certainly indicative of a high ceiling.
Hollinger, The Athletic: Most projections have him in the lottery, but I can’t quite get as excited about Johnson as my peers. I understand the basic premise: After the sure things are off the board, maybe the next-best move is to draft an electric athlete who only recently turned 19 and see what happens. Johnson is a high flier who might have the best YouTube dunk clips of any prospect and seems to have decent lateral mobility.
But man, there are warts aplenty here. He’s 6-foot-5 but often looked more like an undersized power forward than a shooting guard. His offense consisted mainly of right-hand dribbles into midrange pull-ups that went in just often enough to keep shooting them, and for a guy with pogo hops, his rates of rebounds and blocks were a crushing disappointment. Bizarrely, Johnson couldn’t shoot a pull-up going to his left; he had to stop and spin 270 degrees back to his right to launch.
Johnson isn’t a 3-point threat (27.1 percent from 3 on low volume and 70.2 percent from the line), and while you wouldn’t describe his shot as broken, he’s a long way from being an average perimeter weapon. The best thing you could say about his jumper is that he gets into it easily off the dribble and can elevate and release it over nearly anybody. A lot of times you wish he couldn’t.
It’s possible being away from a constipated Tennessee offense that seemed intent on strangling itself will give Johnson more opportunities to shine. It’s also possible a lower-usage role (his 26.8 percent usage rate was pretty high for a player of this ilk) would take better advantage of his skill set.
And there is some upside here. As an on-ball player, Johnson was able to find open men as a passer and make some genuinely good reads in pick-and-roll. His handle, however, is as basic as they come. He rarely got all the way to the rim and operated almost entirely in straight lines. He also showed some real shortcomings as a finisher, with poor balance and body control once he got moving toward the basket and a need to jump off two feet.
In this draft, there are 15 other players like this. Prospects we describe as “young and a good athlete, but about the basketball …”. Of those, Johnson is the best at actual basketball and probably the best athlete, too. There’s a decent chance he fails, but there’s also a right tail where he turns into DeMar DeRozan.
Profile from Sports-Reference.com
Per 40. Luther Head, Cameron Johnson, Adonis Jordan, Khyri Thomas, Davon Reed, Steve Blake, Jon Diebler, Payton Pritchard, Kirk Hinrich
Advanced. Cameron Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Khyri Thomas, Buddy Hield, Davion Mitchell, Tyrese Haliburton, Marial Shayok, Payton Pritchard, Josh Hart
Jon Chepkevich: Statistical best comparisons are
NBA Draft Room Comp: Klay lite
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: Some evaluators have docked Duarte for his age, as he’d be the oldest prospect in the first round. But I think his game is so tailor-made for the NBA that he’s not going to have any problem making an immediate impact. He’s an All-Defense member in the Pac-12 and a genuine playmaker with how disruptive his hands are in the backcourt with length at 6-6. And on offense, he’s a legit 40-plus percent 3-point shooter who can also handle the ball and make comfortable decisions. Duarte has high-level role player written all over him.
Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer: SHADES OF Modern Rip Hamilton, Gary Trent Jr., Danny Green
A strong shooter who could stick in the league for a long time, especially if he makes progress as a playmaker and on-ball defender.
Elite spot-up shooter who can score off movement using screens, handoffs, and relocations.
He's not a dynamic shot creator, but he is a knockdown shooter off the bounce, able to punish defenders for going under screens or pull up and side-step defenders off spot-up situations.
Ambidextrous finisher who has the body control to bend and angle himself to score.
A hustler who goes out of his way to make plays on the ball, and a willing rebounder for his position.
Active and aware in the passing lanes as an off-ball defender. He makes reads like a defensive back and creates a ton of steals and deflections.
Good defensive fundamentals. He stays in his stance and plays hard. He needs to improve his lateral movement, but the tools are there.
Subpar playmaker at this stage of his career. He’s a willing passer but he’s inaccurate, especially off the dribble in pick-and-roll situations.
Likely not a very switchable defender, as he’s not quick enough to handle speedy guards or big enough for larger, stronger forwards.
He’ll be 24 by draft night.
Hollinger, The Athletic: Duarte isn’t for everyone, as he will be 24 years old when training camp opens. History tells us drafting old guys has often turned out badly, and that there is a lot less upside in picking Duarte versus selecting players who are as much as a half decade younger.
That said, this is where the selling proposition on Duarte looks reasonable. He is an NBA rotation wing right now, and may even be a starter. There is no development curve, no having to use our imagination to color in lines that might not be there.
Duarte is a good shooter (42.4 percent from 3 on high volume) and a deft operator around the rim who shot a staggering 63.1 percent on 2s, even in a high-volume role that saw him average 31.3 points per 100 in-conference games. He handles the ball well enough to be a secondary operator, finishing with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio, and he can guard 2s and 3s. He also anticipates well off the ball, with a stellar 3.3 per 100 steal rate in Pac-12 play.
That combination likely yields a relatively unsexy package of a plus backup wing who can maybe start, but think of this as a free agent move. By nabbing Duarte outside the lottery, a team is basically getting four years of a $10 million player on a $3 million contract for four years. The tradeoff is that they give up on the improbable but still theoretically possible opportunity to pick a teenager and wind up with a $30 million player a few years down the road.
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