Syracuse's Wes Johnson Declares For The NBA Draft, Likely Lottery Pick

In an unsurprising move, junior Syracuse swingman Wes Johnson has declared for the NBA Draft, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

The 6'7'', 195-pound Johnson was the Big East Player of the Year, after pacing the Orange to the Big East regular season title with his 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. The athletic, versatile Johnson figures to line up as a small forward in the pros, where his 41.5% three-point shooting last season makes him a very valuable commodity. So valuable, in fact, that most draft projections have him solidly in the lottery, and perhaps even in the top-five of what figures to be a deep draft. ESPN's Chad Ford lists Johnson as the 5th-best prospect in this year's class, while Draft Express has him 8th and NBADraft.net ranks him 4th.

The two big knocks on Johnson are his (relatively) advanced age, and his tendency to disappear in games. Because he had to sit a year out while he transferred from Iowa State, Johnson is already 22 years old, limiting his upside appeal to NBA GMs. But the more pressing question surrounding Johnson is his assertiveness, or rather his lack thereof. Johnson would often go through stretches of games without touching the ball, let alone shooting it. Part of this may have been due to a mid-season hand injury that limited his ability to shoot the ball, but there are still questions about whether he has the personality-type to be more than a third scorer on a good team. Still, given his obvious physical gifts and high skill level, Johnson should be one of the safer picks after John Wall and Evan Turner go off the board.

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