NBA Draft recap: Stanley Johnson first of seven Pac-12 players picked
Arizona Wildcats swingman Stanley Johnson went off the draft board eighth overall to the Detroit Pistons, kicking off an eventful 2015 NBA Draft for players with ties to the Pac-12. Four players from the Conference of Champions were selected in the first round, while another three went in the second round -- and two were traded before the night was through.
Here's a look at every players' landing spot, how they fit with their first pro teams, and how Twitter reacted to their selections.
Stanley Johnson, G/F, Arizona
8th overall, Detroit Pistons
How he fits: The Pistons appear set at every position except for small forward after trading Kyle Singler and Jonas Jerebko last season, meaning Johnson could make an immediate impact. With coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy emphasizing spacing on the court, Johnson could even play as a small-ball power forward a la Van Gundy's 2009 NBA Finals team that used Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu as its starting forwards. ... Johnson, a physically-gifted 6-foot-7 and 242 pounds, worked on spot shooting and improved explosion in the draft process. His ability to find one elite skill out of the many good skills already in his arsenal will determine his ceiling.
Related highlights: Pac-12 Freshman of the Year looks to blossom in the NBA
Expected draft position: 8th by Pistons (DraftExpress, NBADraft.net)
That boy can Hoop
— BRANDON JENNINGS (@BrandonJennings) June 26, 2015
Delon Wright, G, Utah
20th overall, Toronto Raptors
How he fits: The 6-foot-6, 181-pound Wright begins his journey as a Raptor as a backup point guard to Kyle Lowry. Like Lowry, Toronto likes Wright for his defense (2.6 steals per 40 minutes), and earlier on draft night traded backup point Greivis Vasquez, presumably opening the opportunity for Wright. The Pac-12's most efficient double-digit scorer the last two years improved his three-point shooting to 36 percent last season, so the next step has to do with his weight. Nearly half of Wright's shots came at the rim last year, and his frail frame won't get into the paint off the bounce with physical NBA guards bumping him off course. Similarly, his ability to defend at like he did with the Utes depends on him getting stronger.
Related highlights: Top collegaite point guard ready for spotlight
Expected draft position: 21st by Mavericks (Draft Express), 29th by Nets (NBADraft.net)
Delon Wright ranked in the 80th percentile or above in scoring efficiency on spot ups, fast breaks, 1-on-1s, pick & rolls, and hand offs.
— Synergy Sports Tech (@SynergySST) June 26, 2015
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, F, Arizona
23rd overall, Portland Trail Blazers (traded to Brooklyn Nets)
How he fits: Portland sent Hollis-Jefferson to the Nets where he'll team with offensive-minded (and sub-par defensive) swingmen Mirza Teletovic and Bojan Bogdanovic. Hollis-Jefferson, a lanky 6-foot-7 forward with a 7-foot 2-inch wingspan, showcased his elite pestering skills in 2014-15 by shutting down second overall pick and former Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell in the NCAA Tournament. Any improvements in Hollis-Jefferson's limited offense -- consistency in his shooting mechanics, refinement in ball handling -- will be gravy.
Related highlights: 'Most electrifying player in the Pac-12' looking to land in NBA
Expected draft position: 16th by Celtics (Draft Express), 20th by Raptors (NBADraft.net)
Twitter says ...
— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) June 25, 2015
Kevon Looney, F, UCLA
30th overall, Golden State Warriors
How he fits: Draymond Green set the standard for undersized power forwards this season, and with trade rumors surrounding David Lee, the NBA champs could use depth behind Green. In his lone season with UCLA Looney made sound decisions with the ball and displayed above-average ball handling ability, which suggests that he can become more than a spot-up shooter -- his bread-and-butter at this point. Looney shot 42 percent from three, 91 percent of which were assisted. Improving an inefficient game inside the three-point line is the question-mark for a 6-foot-9, 222-pound big man with limited athleticism. Looney also excelled on the offensive glass and, despite his skinny build, can use his length to grab rebounds.
Related highlights: UCLA forward second to none among freshmen
Expected draft position: 27st by Lakers (Draft Express), 22nd by Bulls (NBADraft.net)
Twitter says ...
Kevon Looney goes from being dejected enough to leave the green room, to being drafted by the NBA champs -- w/ 1st round pick! -- in 15m
— Luke Winn (@lukewinn) June 26, 2015
Anthony Brown, SF, Stanford
34th overall, Los Angeles Lakers
How he fits: At 6-foot-7 and with long arms, Brown can get his shot off easily and with accuracy. He hit 44 percent of his three-pointers during his senior season and, according to Synergy Sports, scored 1.31 points per possession on set jumpers, second-best in this draft. Playing alongside a backcourt that includes heavy isolation players like Kobe Bryant, Nick Young and rookie D'Angelo Russell should give Brown some open looks too. If he proves to be a capable defender and his shooting translates to the NBA, Brown will carve out a solid role in the league.
Related highlights: Stanford forward shoots for success in draft
Expected draft position: 31st by Timberwolves (Draft Express), 50th by Hawks (NBADraft.net)
Twitter says ...
— Grantland (@Grantland33) June 26, 2015
Joseph Young, G, Oregon
43rd overall, Indiana Pacers
How he fits: Indiana faces losing scoring combo guard Rodney Stuckey in free agency, and Young could be a good fit to replace him. As a senior, the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year showed playmaking to go with his incredible shooting abilities both off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot situations, though he'll need to force fewer shots (at Oregon he had no choice) as a likely backup scoring point to George Hill. Young shot 36 percent from three-point range in college, a number that should be considered solid considering he took seven threes per game.
Related highlights: Pac-12 Player of the Year hopes to shine
Expected draft position: 41th by Nets (Draft Express), 42nd by Jazz (NBADraft.net) 4.
Twitter says ...
Bird said that Joseph Young can play both guard positions, though he’ll be a small 2 guard. Mostly will be a point guard
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) June 26, 2015
Norman Powell, G, UCLA
46th overall, Milwaukee Bucks (traded to Toronto Raptors)
How he fits: There might not be a more imposing transition scorer in this NBA Draft. Between Powell's size (6-foot-4, 215 pounds), his leaping ability (40.5 inch max vertical) and aggressiveness (49 percent of shots at the rim), the shooting guard possesses intriguing possibilities as an older player who still is seemingly growing as an offensive weapon. defensively, Powell's bulldog mentality will take him places. He'll have to fight for playing time with fellow Pac-12 guard Terrence Ross, a Husky, and Utah product/first-round pick Delon Wright.
Related highlights: High-flying UCLA guard soars to next level
Expected draft position: 51st by Magic (Draft Express), 32nd by Rockets (NBADraft.net)
Twitter says ...
Norman Powell has some skills, Toronto https://t.co/Zh5aj102P2
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) June 26, 2015