Former Kentucky Wildcats Center Dakari Johnson looks like an NBA first round draft pick. He’s young, unpolished, but full of potential. He could be a tremendous project for a NBA GM. Even with two seasons under his belt in Lexington, there is still some rawness to him. Johnson was in fact the youngest player on the 2013-2014 team that lost to UConn in the national title game.
Here’s where we have Dakari in our latest 2015 NBA Mock Draft (full mock here)
41. Brooklyn-Dakari Johnson, C, Kentucky, 7-0, Soph.
Dakari Johnson is a true low post scorer and was in much better shape this past season.
Our NBA mock draft also appears on NBA.com’s consensus mock draft; which is a composition of the top 12 NBA mock drafts on the entire web. John Calipari talked with the media today, and surprise, surprise, he disagrees with the prognosticators forecasting Dakari Johnson into the second round.
Coach Cal believes the big man is a true first-rounder.
“In the league right now, everybody is talking about getting smaller,” Coach Cal said.
“Well, all of a sudden you have a chance late in that first round to get a 7-footer and you’re saying, ‘There’s just not many guys with this kind of body.’ When you talk about – hey, he can go bang with one of these big guys, he can.
“From what I’m hearing, it’s late first (round). Maybe something happens where someone goes to those three teams that are saying right now that he’s right there and they get somebody and maybe he drops early second, but I just can’t see it right now. What I’m hearing back there is he’ll be in that late first somewhere.”
Calipari also noted that most of the feedback he’s received from NBA team regarding Dakari Johnson relates to his youth and his intelligence.
“They didn’t realize he was this young,” Calipari said.
“basically he would be a freshman because he reclassified (in high school). The second thing they didn’t realize is how smart he is,” he continued.
Another interesting component of the pre NBA Draft evaluation process regarding Dakari Johnson, is the discussion of his late grandfather.
Jitu K.Weusi, formerly known as, Leslie R. Campbell, was a longtime educator and activist for social justice. He passed away two years ago, after a lifetime of reaching thousands of people by expanding their minds sociopolitically.
“His grandfather was an activist in New York,” Calipari said.
“And I went to the funeral and one person after another talked about what he had done for their lives. This kid has learned the right way.”
Kentucky NBA Draft Prospect Profiles
The Sports Bank had the most accurate NBA Mock Draft in both 2011 and 2012 along with the second most accurate mock in 2013
Paul M. Banks owns, operates and writes The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with Fox Sports Digital. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes to the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. He also appears regularly on numerous sports talk radio stations all across the country.Follow paulmbanks