The Pistons have signed No. 8 overall pick Stanley Johnson, the team announced via press release. His contract will give him nearly $2.842MM this season and a total of $12.85MM over four years, assuming he signed for the standard 120% of the rookie scale. Detroit held off on signing him while it used its cap space, as today’s move lifts Johnson’s cap hold by about $500K, but now the team appears finished with major free agent signings.
Johnson, a small forward from the University of Arizona, seemed a curious selection with small forward Justise Winslow still on the board, but coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said Johnson’s confidence stood out. Johnson attributed the choice to the toughness he displays on the court. The 19-year-old was by no means a stretch at No. 8, as Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress ranked him the eighth-best prospect in the draft. Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranked him 12th. Our Eddie Scarito had the Pistons taking Johnson with the eighth pick in the final version of the 2015 Hoops Rumors Mock Draft, though Winslow, who in real life slipped to the Heat at No. 10, had already been drafted in Eddie’s scenario.
Defense is Johnson’s strength, as Eddie noted in his prospect profile, though he displayed 37.1% three-point shooting this past season while averaging 13.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in 28.4 minutes per game. He shared a crowded frontcourt with fellow small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the No. 23 overall pick.
Do you think the Pistons made the right move to take Johnson over Winslow? Leave a comment to let us know.