The NBA Draft continues to draw near, and as we get closer to the Oklahoma City Thunder making the 21st pick of the draft, I will continue to break down potential picks that could end up in a Thunder uniform. Earlier this week I wrote about Kentucky’s Tyler Herro. Today, let’s take a look at fan-favorite Cameron Johnson, a 6’9″ forward out of the University of North Carolina.
Cameron Johnson initially played his college ball at Pittsburgh University, where he redshirted his freshman year due to injury. He played two seasons as a Panther before graduating in three years. After he graduated, he decided to become a graduate transfer to UNC where he was allowed to play immediately.
Johnson played his final two seasons at North Carolina where he helped the Tarheels to a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament after finishing the regular season tied with Virginia as ACC Regular Season Co-Champions. The ‘Heels made it to the Sweet 16 before they were upset by eventual national runner up Auburn.
In his senior season at North Carolina, Cameron Johnson averaged 16.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.2 steals in starting all 36 games. Johnson is an especially attractive prospect for the Thunder because he managed to shoot an impressive 45.7% from three while averaging nearly 6 attempts from downtown per game. No Thunder player shot anywhere near those numbers last season.
Johnson is also an effective shooter from inside the arc. He took as many shots from two as he did from three, and he managed to knock down 55.6% of his twos. From the free throw line, he made 81.8% of his attempts, but he managed to get the line just a little over 3 times per game.
The biggest downside to Johnson is that he is already 23 years old. If the Thunder was to draft him, that would make him older than both Terrance Ferguson and Hamidou Diallo. While a lot of teams might look at his age as a bad thing, particularly when you consider his long-term importance, OKC might see that as an advantage. His age and experience could make him ready to contribute to the Thunder immediately, and with his sharpshooting skills, OKC could definitely use him sooner than later.
Most draft projections have Cameron Johnson still on the board by the time OKC’s 21st pick rolls around, and if he is in fact still there, Thunder GM Sam Presti may have a hard time picking someone else over him.
Be sure to follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook, and don’t forget to check out our latest episode of Thunder Things with the Thunder Guys on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher.