Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats’ Nick Johnson taken in second round by Houston Rockets



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Nick Johnson’s undefined position at the next level — point guard or shooting guard — affected his draft status tonight as he was taken in the second round of the NBA Draft by Houston as the 42th pick overall.

Johnson has a specialized skill — defense — that can enable him to make those who passed on him think about their potential mistake. He is listed at 6’3″ and 198 pounds, the general size of a point guard in the NBA but he played at shooting guard at Arizona.

Some NBA scouts also reportedly had questions about Johnson’s consistency as a jump shooter.

There is no denying Johnson’s athleticism and ability to be a shut-down defender on the perimeter (defending the point guard, shooting guard or wing).


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Some quick facts about Johnson’s second-round selection:

— He becomes Arizona’s 24th player chosen in the round. Of the previous 23, the average career length in the NBA is 4.1 years. Five players have lasted double-figure years in the NBA — Steve Kerr, Jud Buechler, Sean Rooks, Gilbert Arenas and Luke Walton. Kerr, Buechler and Walton combined for 10 NBA titles.

— Johnson’s uncle, Hall of Famer Dennis Johnson, was also a second-round pick in 1976 as the 29th pick overall. The NBA had only 22 teams in 1976-77. The elder Johnson went on to be a three-time NBA champion and five-time All-Star selection.

DNP-Did not play. HNP-Has not played.
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[/ezcol_1half_end] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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