New York Knicks Working Out Arizona Wildcats’ Stanley Johnson


New York Knicks will host Arizona Wildcat forward Stanley Johnson for a workout later today

As we inch closer to the 2015 NBA Draft, we normally get a better idea of what teams are thinking in regards to potential draft picks. That doesn’t seem to apply to the New York Knicks, who seem to be casting a huge net and seeing what they can catch. They have been rumored to be interested in a number of prospects, setting up a number of workouts as well. The latest person to be in for a workout will be former Arizona forward Stanley Johnson.

Johnson will be for a workout with the Knicks this afternoon. There hasn’t been much buzz surrounding Johnson, but the consensus seems to be that he will be selected in the top-10. He is yet another interesting name to be linked to the Knicks, as the fourth overall pick seems a little high for him to go, but the talent and upside is undoubtedly there if the Knicks decide to take a chance on the Wildcats’ forward.

In his only season in Tucson, Johnson flashed dominance at times. Even though he was only a freshman, there were plenty of times throughout the season that he was clearly the best player on the court. He led the Wildcats in scoring, averaging 13.8 points per game and did it rather efficiently. He shot 44.6 percent overall from the field, but could also knock down the perimeter shot, making his three points at a 37.1 percent clip and 74.2 percent from the foul line.

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At 6-feet-8 inches tall and 243 pounds with a 6-feet-11 inch wingspan, he also has the size and athleticism to be a factor on the defensive side of the ball right away, something that will be intriguing to the Knicks. Last season he was able to produce 1.5 steals per game, which shows he has the ability to get into the passing lanes and make plays. That size also enables him to help in the rebounding department, as he averaged 6.5 rebounds per game, second on the team. That is another area the Knicks were weak in last season, so getting a player that would be able to contribute there right away would be a plus.

But, for the Knicks to take Johnson at four, they would passing up on one of the players in the group of Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay. Would the Knicks really pass up on one of those players for someone like Johnson? It would be hard to imagine them doing that. It would also be tough to picture the Knicks passing over players they supposedly like a lot, such as Willie Cauley-Stein and Justise Winslow.

But, like what has been a popular opinion amongst basketball fans, the Knicks seem to be doing their due diligence on players that could be available later on in the top-10 and lottery. There has been plenty of talk about the Knicks looking to trade down in the draft, and the interest in Johnson would follow that thinking as well. If the Knicks do indeed trade back in the first round, they have to be knowledgeable about the players who could be available at that slot.

Johnson has the looks of a player that could develop into a worthy starter at the NBA level, but the Knicks taking him with the fourth overall pick would still be a huge surprise. Right now, this looks like more due diligence from the team, as it is hard to imagine Johnson being in the Knicks top-five for prospects to choose from once they are on the clock.

Next: Who is the best Knicks PG of all-time?

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