The 2019 NBA Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft. Kentucky wing Keldon Johnson had one good year in Lexington and is now prepping for the pros.
2018-2019 stats: 13.5 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game, 1.6 assists per game, 0.8 steals per game, 0.2 blocks per game, 46.1% field goal, 38.1% 3 point
Size: 6-foot-6, 211 pounds
Johnson was a five-star prospect in the 2018 recruiting class and the 18th ranked prospect overall according to 247 sports. HIs one season at Kentucky was productive and he showed NBA executives why he was such a highly-ranked recruit.
In his one season in the SEC, he was named to the all-conference team and was the SEC Rookie of the Year. He helped lead Kentucky to a 26-11 record and a number two seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats got to the Elite Eight before losing to Auburn. Johnson’s one season at Kentucky had a few big moments like his 23 points against Duke and his half-court buzzer-beater to send a game against Seton Hall into overtime.
The 2019 NBA Draft is filled with a lot of good wings, but Johnson has earned some recognition himself. He is projected to go in the middle of the first round of the draft come June 20.
Johnson has good athleticism that he uses in a variety of ways. He can use it to get to the basket, to defend at a decent rate and to grab rebounds. At Kentucky, he was able to throw down some highlight-reel dunks as well to get the crowd energized. With his athleticism, Johnson will not look out of place in the NBA.
In addition to his athleticism, Johnson can shoot the ball well. Sometimes he can be a bit streaky, but on average he can stretch the floor with his shooting. He shot over 38 percent from three-point range. To go with his good shooting from deep, Johnson also can hit shots in the mid-range, which keeps defenses on their toes.
HIs physical traits are great, but his motor is one of the best in the class. He is always trying to make plays and being active. On offense, he works tirelessly to get open. On defense, he may not be the best defender, but he always gives good effort and takes every matchup as a challenge.
As noted earlier, Johnson can be a streaky shooter. This isn’t the biggest problem, with him still being a good shooter over the course of a season. He does need to be more confident in his shot, as he sometimes hesitates and passes up open jumpers.
Johnson does tend to be careless with the ball as well. He turns the ball over at times trying to force passes to teammates. He also has a tendency to take contested shots. Johnson can make those shots regularly, but will be facing better defenders in the NBA and needs to make every shot count.
While he is a solid defender who gives good effort, Johnson is not a game changer on defense. He only registered 0.8 steals and 0.2 blocks per game. To be an impact player on defense, he’ll need to force some turnovers.
Projected Draft Range: Mid-First Round Pick