Stanley Johnson called himself “the best player in the draft.”
Now he has a chance to prove it.
The 19-year old was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the eighth pick in Thursday’s NBA draft. He heads to the “Motor City” after just one season at the University of Arizona where he averaged a team-high 13.8 points and 6.8 rebounds a game. Some believe his offensive game is more refined than fellow college teammate Rondae Hollis-Jefferson but may not have a longer NBA shelf life.
“I just think I’m the best player in the draft,” Johnson re-confirmed to ESPN moments after being selected. “Detroit versus everybody…we’re ready to go.”
Johnson has an excellent feel for the game and is extremely polished for someone of his age. As a freshman with the Wildcats he flashed the ability to take the ball to the basket or show off his effective mid-range game. He’s also smooth in transition.
Stanley told me he wanted to be pushed during his time at Arizona, so I don’t believe I’ve ever coached a player harder than him.
— Sean Miller (@UACoachMiller) June 26, 2015
The biggest knock on Johnson’s game is his passion on the floor at times as he fell into Miller’s doghouse for lack of effort or mental errors at both ends of the court.
“I’m a competitor,” Johnson explained at the draft. “I’ll be ready to compete against anybody. I’ve never been afraid of anybody.”
The Pistons feature a talented frontline with center Andre Drummond and forward/center Greg Monroe. Each averaged double-digit rebounds last season.
Johnson has played in 180 games in the five years.
He’s won 169 of them.
The success-starved Pistons are hoping the trend continues.