With the 11th pick of the NBA Draft, Carolina’s Cameron Johnson was drafted by the Phoenix Suns. This pick is via a trade that the Suns made with the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier in the day, and may be the most shocking selection of the evening. Prior to just a few minutes ago, Johnson was projected to go late in the first round, and now he is a lottery pick that will be making his way out west.
Had anybody asked Tar Heels fans last year about whether or not Cam Johnson would eventually become a legitimately sought after NBA prospect, it’s safe to say that the opinions would’ve been fairly mixed. Coming off of his first season with the Heels since transferring from Pitt, Johnson struggled with some aching injuries throughout the season, ultimately having what was a good but not great season. He closed out 2017-18 averaging 12.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists, while making 34.1% of his shooting attempts from behind the arc.
After having surgery prior to the 2018-19 season, he was legitimately a different player, looking more agile, shooting more effectively, and looking like someone that could potentially be very hard to defend in the pros. Finishing out his final season with the Heels shooting 45.7% from three, his sharpshooting skills are something that should help him have a long, sustainable career in the NBA.
What the Suns are getting in Johnson is a player that has a very high basketball IQ, someone who can score at will, and also someone who has learned how to get to the boards more effectively. While his age was a detractor for teams to select him sooner, the previously mentioned surgery has given Johnson’s body new life. Should he can stay healthy, it likely won’t take long for the Suns to see that they make a very good decision.
Congrats to Cam!