<
>
Insider

Is first round in Nick Johnson's future?

3/19/2014

Arizona junior guard Nick Johnson is set to enter the NCAA tournament following a terrific regular season that earned him the Pac-12 Player of the Year award -- no small feat in a conference as loaded with talented as the Pac-12 this season.

So why, then, isn't he more highly regarded as a NBA prospect? The athletic 6-foot-3, 200-pounder currently comes in all the way down at No. 54 on Chad Ford's updated Big Board, and enters the Big Dance with little buzz about being a first-round pick in June.

ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton was asked about Johnson's draft stock in a Sports Nation chat last Friday, and offered his take on the matter, while Chad Ford answered another question about Johnson on Wednesday.

Kevin Pelton

Johnson needs to become more efficient as a scorer

"Johnson is making 36% of his 3s this year (39% last year). As a result, he isn't a particularly efficient scorer. I see some upside as a 3-and-D combo guard, but teams are thinking bigger in the lottery, especially with a junior.

Chad Ford

Johnson's lack of height hurts his stock

"If he was three inches taller, he'd probably be a lottery pick. But it's much harder for 6-2/6-3 two guards to thrive in the NBA. It helps that Nick is such an explosive athlete, but that alone won't do it. That's why he's on the first round bubble."