“The NBA has always been my goal, but I never expected it to come this soon,” said Johnson, who is coming off his freshman season. “I really don’t care what number I get drafted at. I just want to go somewhere I fit in that organization. Where I can keep developing and find my niche.”
While Johnson may not care where he gets drafted, he looks like a good bet to be a mid-lottery pick. ESPN currently has him ranked as the No. 6 prospect on its big board, right behind Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs.
Givony calls Johnson one of the best athletes in college basketball and says he “maximizes his tools on both ends of the floor,” though he cautions that the 19-year-old will need to further develop his offensive game and add some bulk to reach his potential at the NBA level.
“I think NBA teams see a defensive-minded guard who can score at all three levels,” Johnson told ESPN. “I feel like my three-point shot is going to improve and keep me on the court in the NBA, along with my versatility on the offensive end.”
Johnson, who was coming off a knee injury as a senior in high school, got off to a slow start for the Volunteers and averaged a modest 11.3 PPG and 3.5 RPG on 44.9% shooting in 27 total games (25.5 MPG). However, he came on strong near the end of the season, recording 16.8 PPG and 6.0 RPG on 50.7% shooting in his final five games, including in the SEC and NCAA tournaments.