Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson helped lead the Arizona Wildcats to a Pac-12 regular season championship and number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. While Gordon is the more coveted NBA prospect, it was Johnson who raked in post-season accolades including Pac-12 Player of the Year and Second Team All-American.
Even with his newfound hardware, Nick Johnson is considered a borderline first round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft due to the fact that is a combo guard with no true position at the next level. At the NBA Draft Combine, Gordon gave his fellow Wildcat a major vote of confidence.
“He’s going to be a steal, man,” Gordon told me when I asked him about the type of player Johnson is going to be at the next level.
“First off, they are going to get a competitor. He’s going to surprise A LOT of people. He’s very, very talented. A better shooter than people might think. Just a straight winner, defensive effort, great passer, good teammate, high character guy, high motor, will do anything it takes to win. Nick Johnson is going to be a steal.”
As a junior this past season at Arizona, Johnson was a veteran and the leader of Sean Miller’s Wildcat team. The young Gordon said he learned a lot from Johnson throughout his lone season in Tucson, especially what it takes to guard at the next level.
“He was one of the tougher people to guard on my team this year,” Gordon admitted. “I struggled to guard him because he’s really polished as a junior in college.”
Gordon also praised Johnson as “an extremely smart basketball player.” Nick Johnson’s high basketball IQ combined with his toughness and elite athleticism must shine through during pre-draft workouts if he is going to help his status as a first round prospect. While it may be a long-shot, Gordon will be the first to tell us, “I told you so” if Johnson ends up being a major factor at the next level.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Milwaukee to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag), and finished with the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft (nearly a three-peat.) You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks