|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: UC Santa Barbara SG Orlando Johnson||06.22.12 at 7:47 pm ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Position: Shooting guard
School: UC Santa Barbara
Weight: 223 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-Big West first team, 2011 All-Big West first team, 2010 Big West Player of the Year
Key 2011-12 stats: 19.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.5 turnovers, 46.4 FG%, 42.7 3P%, 69.8 FT%
What he brings: Johnson is a well-rounded offensive player with an NBA body and impressive leaping ability. As the focal point of the UCSB offense, Johnson was asked to do a lot of different things and his skill set reflects it. He is a good 3-point shooter, penetrator and rebounder (particularly for a guard), and plays with a high motor.
But while Johnson is good at a number of things, he is not elite in any one area, something scouts worry will make for a difficult transition at the next level.
After playing his entire career at a mid-major school, Johnson shined at the LeBron James Skills Academy last summer, and that helped alleviate concerns over his ability to excel against elite competition. This summer his stock has continued to rise as he’s impressed scouts at various pre-draft workouts. According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, Johnson has lost 16 pounds since the end of his senior season and added seven inches to his vertical. He also boasted an impressive 6-foot-11 wingspan.
Where the Celtics could get him: Originally expected to be a late-second-round pick or undrafted free agent, Johnson’s impressive pre-draft performances have him possibly going as high as the middle of the second round.
Notes: After a childhood filled with incredible tragedy, Johnson stands on the doorstep of fulfilling his lifelong dream. Johnson’s mother was murdered when he was just a year old. He never met his father. When Johnson was 6, the house he was sharing with 10 family members caught fire, killing four of his relatives. He then lived with his grandmother until he was 11 years old, when she passed away, leaving Johnson’s two older brothers, Robbie and Jamell, to raise him.
Johnson began his college career at Loyola Marymount, where he set freshman school records by scoring 383 points and averaging 12.4 points per game before transferring to UCSB. He went on to become UCSB’s all-time leading scorer in three seasons there (1,825 points).
Video: Here’s Johnson working out at the NBA draft combine in Chicago.
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