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Arizona’s Stanley Johnson, last probable lottery pick to declare, headed to NBA draft

Ohio State v Arizona

during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Moda Center on March 21, 2015 in Portland, Oregon.

Jonathan Ferrey

Once Mario Hezonja entered the 2015 NBA draft, Arizona’s Stanley Johnson become the last probable lottery pick to state his intentions.

Jakob Poeltl and Kris Dunn were the only players with a strong chance of going in the lottery to return to school – because Johnson won’t join them.


Johnson – a 6-foot-7, 245-pound forward – looked like a man among boys at Arizona, which is pretty stunning considering his age. Kentucky’s Devin Booker, a lower-rated prospect, is the only player younger than Johnson likely to go in the first round.

During his freshman year, Johnson asserted himself on both ends and used his underrated athleticism to bully opponents. He can be a force.

But the numbers don’t always match the eye test. Johnson didn’t finish well at the rim, but he shot better from outside than his stroke would indicate.

Even if Johnson’s skills are somewhat inverted, that’s not a huge problem. No matter how you assess him, he’s a quality prospect. It’s just a little confusing what style he’ll play in the NBA, but there’s less doubt he’ll make it work.

Johnson probably belongs in the second half of the lottery, where prospects are bunched tightly together. He could land on either side of the top-10 line.