Could The Wizards Be The “Right Situation” For Keldon Johnson?

The Wizards hold the No. 9 overall pick in next week’s draft, though they haven’t had many of the elite prospects in Washington for workouts. Keldon Johnson broke that trend, participating in drills at the team’s practice facility on Thursday. The former Kentucky Wildcat described the experience as “amazing” when speaking with Hoops Rumors and other media in attendance.

“I feel I really got to compete today. Got in a great workout. Great staff. I feel everyone was involved in it. … I just had an amazing time,” Johnson said.

Opinions on where Johnson will be drafted range from late-lottery pick to the early 20s. The 6’6″ wing is no. 19 on ESPN’s latest top 100 and Jonathan Givony has Utah selecting him with the No. 23 overall selection in his latest mock draft.

Johnson doesn’t worry about where he’s projected to go. He takes the same approach to invites regardless of what pick the team possesses.

“I don’t really look at it,” he said. “I just go into the workout open-minded. Whatever workouts I have, I go in there and kill [the workout] and go at whoever’s in front of me.”

Iowa State’s Cameron Lard was the only prospect to participate in on-court activities with Johnson. Many pre-draft workouts have upwards of six prospects. Others are merely individual workouts. The two-man workout calls for more one-on-one drills and showcases a different skill set.

Johnson, who scored 13.5 points per game at Kentucky last season, feels his ballhandling is an area of his game that’s underrated. The Virginia-native feels he can better showcase that ability at the next level and added that the tempo of the NBA suits his game. “It’s a lot of up-and-down. … I think I’ll transition well,” the 19-year-old said.

Johnson simply wants to go to the “right situation.” When asked to clarify, the prospect emphasized a place where he can learn. “Just come in, play, learn. Just listen to my coaches,” he said.

John Calipari‘s former recruit previously worked out for a bevy of teams, including the Celtics — owners of three picks in the top 22. He’ll head to Minnesota next, which will likely be his last workout before the NBA draft.

The draft process continues for Washington today. The Wizards will bring in six prospects, as the team relays on its website. Corey Davis (Houston), Jessie Govan (Georgetown), Jaylen Hands (UCLA), Lyle Hexom (Peru State), Jonathan Kasibabu (Fairfield) and V.J. King (Louisville) will participate in drills while Sekou Doumbouya (France) will simply meet with the team.

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4 thoughts on “Could The Wizards Be The “Right Situation” For Keldon Johnson?

  1. Z-A

    His stock rise is going to approach parabolic. Which means watch out below. Hes a Mid-20s pick.

    • hiflew

      In fairness, up until about February he was projected around picks 7-10. His stock dropped later in the season when he wore down, but it’s not like he is coming out of nowhere. I don’t think he is going to be that good and I am not really sorry to see him go from UK (unlike Tyler Herro), but he is not a late 20s Archie Goodwin-type player. I consider him more along the lines of Devin Booker.

      I’m not saying he will become Devin Booker in the pros, but he has about the same storyline. Booker was a high upside recruit coming into UK, but he disappointed to an extent in school. Keldon was the highest rated recruit in UK’s class this year, but he also disappointed a bit as he was often invisible on the floor for the Cats. IF he gets into the right situation, he could take off like Booker did. If Washington trades Beal and Wall is out for the year, that could be the right type of situation. A team completely missing a star. It could be a Booker or a Donovan Mitchell situation where someone has to be the leading scorer. Then again, he could end up washing out quickly as well. Imagining which of these guys will hit and which won’t really is the best part of the draft for me.

      • Z-A

        I don’t think he would get past 25-26-27. However he is an undersized wing and not particularly long. His stock dropped just like Kevin Porter Jr’s all year long. Would I be shocked if he went 15-16? No. But I wouldn’t take him ahead of SFs like Doumbouya, Cam Johnson or Thybulle who I know can do one thing very well. And then you can’t discount the Kawhi Clone buzz for Nassir Little.

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