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NBA scout on Keldon Johnson: “Kid is big time”

Over four games in the Bahamas, Kentucky freshman Keldon Johnson averaged 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest. He shot an efficient 53 percent from the field and 44 percent from three, and his intensity on the defensive end of the floor was sensational.

To no one’s surprise, NBA scouts are falling in love with Johnson’s game.

“Love Keldon Johnson as a pro,” one NBA scout sitting courtside told Adam Zagoria of ZAGSBLOG. “Kid is big time.”

Johnson, a five-star small forward out of Virginia, was selected to the McDonald’s All-American game and the Jordan Brand Classic as a senior in high school. In both events, those in attendance for practice and the games raved about his relentless passion for the game. In fact, Johnson sat out the actual JBC game with an ankle injury, but scouts in attendance were fascinated by the Wildcat forward’s dedication to getting healthy enough to compete. He worked out his ankle all week in practice, running up and down the court, shooting jumpers, and getting it stretched out.

There wasn’t much at stake in the game, but Johnson still did whatever he could to prepare for the slight chance he would be healthy enough to play. He’s a competitor, and NBA scouts (including New York Knicks president Steve Mills) were extremely impressed.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari said Johnson deserves to be in the competition for one of the top players in all of college basketball.

“If there are five better players than him in the country, you gotta tell me who they are. I’ve done this a long time and I know who’s who,” he told the media at the Atlantis last night.

ESPN’s Seth Greenberg, who served as one of the lead analysts during the SEC Network’s coverage of the Big Blue Bahamas tour, said Johnson’s all-around game separates him from the pack.

“He can run, he gets out in transition, he can finish, he’s an alert defender, he’s a physical defender and he can help rebound,” Greenberg said. “He can do a lot of things, and he has the ability to make some shots.”

If things go as planned, Johnson could find himself in the top ten of next June’s NBA Draft.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

9 Comments for NBA scout on Keldon Johnson: “Kid is big time”

  1. Wade
    10:30 pm August 13, 2018 Permalink

    Who’s the 5 better than him any takers? I don’t think there’s 2. so there’s that!

    • Aar
      10:45 pm August 13, 2018 Permalink

      PJ Washington. I’m outta gas.

  2. DelrayCat
    10:31 pm August 13, 2018 Permalink

    Reminds me of Kawhi Leonard. A classic 3-and-D guy.
    He’s for sure one-and-done and a top 10 pick.

    • SuperTroy18
      11:01 pm August 13, 2018 Permalink

      He reminds me of Russell Westbrook. I’m not a fan of Westbrook, himself; but I will take his stats any day. Westbrook has the motor, and even though I personally think he plays a little selfish at times, you can tell he wants to win every single game by the way he plays. And like Johnson, wants to dunk it in someone’s face on every single drive. I LOVE KJ’s motor!

    • JusSayin
      11:08 pm August 13, 2018 Permalink

      The shooting is what surprised me most.

      He cant shoot of the dribble yet… but I was led to believe he couldnt shoot at all which definitely isnt the case.

  3. JusSayin
    11:06 pm August 13, 2018 Permalink

    I dont see how you keep Keldon Johnson or Herro on the bench. One of the vets is going to have to get less minutes than they thought.

  4. CatManDo
    6:28 am August 14, 2018 Permalink

    I am partial to my squad.

  5. Rabbi Li
    7:22 am August 14, 2018 Permalink

    Dan JockItch kept calling him Miles Bridges.

    Keldon Johnson has much more upside to his game than Miles. He’s more athletic, more creative, and projects to be much more than a role player in the NBA.

    Keldon has better handles, better, vision, a fierce fury to run or lead a break in transition. He’d lead a break and you’d want it in his hands. His stroke is better than Miles as well. Even defensively.

    Dan JockItch simply made a hasty assessment on Keldon while watching his first preseason college game clearly without ever seeing him play. This is par for the course for JockItch. That’s what he does.

    Premature JockItch. Dan scratches before he gets it because he knows it’s coming.

    • JusSayin
      8:07 am August 14, 2018 Permalink

      Dakich he also compared Herro to Rex Chapman. Herro is athletic but not Rex Chapman athletic. I see more Jamal Murray.

      He actually reminds me a lot of Richard Hamilton’s game at Uconn.