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.

HOW ARIZONA’S SECOND-ROUNDERS HAVE FARED IN THE NBA
DNP-Did not play. HNP-Has not played.

Player Year Pick Team Career Yrs
Eric Money 1974 No. 33 Detroit 1974-1980 6
Al Fleming 1976 No. 30 Phoenix 1977-1978 1
Bob Elliott 1977 No. 42 Philadelphia 1978-1981 3
Herman Harris 1977 No. 43 Philadelphia DNP 0
Tom Tolbert 1988 No. 34 Charlotte 1988-1995 7
Steve Kerr 1988 No. 40 Phoenix 1988-2003 15
Jud Buechler 1990 No. 38 Seattle 1990-2002 12
Sean Rooks 1992 No. 30 Dallas 1992-2004 12
Ed Stokes 1993 No. 35 Miami 1997-98 1
Joseph Blair 1996 No. 35 Seattle DNP 0
Ben Davis 1996 No. 43 Phoenix 1996-2000 4
Reggie Geary 1996 No. 56 Cleveland 1996-1998 2
Miles Simon 1998 No. 42 Orlando 1998-1999 1
A.J. Bramlett 1999 No. 39 Cleveland 1999-2000 1
Gilbert Arenas 2001 No. 31 Golden State 2001-2012 11
Michael Wright 2001 No. 39 New York DNP 0
Loren Woods 2001 No. 46 Minnesota 2001-2008 6
Luke Walton 2003 No. 32 L.A. Lakers 2003-2013 10
Salim Stoudamire 2005 No. 31 Atlanta 2005-2008 3
Hassan Adams 2006 No. 54 New Jersey 2006-2009 2
Marcus Williams 2007 No. 33 San Antonio 2007-2009 2
Chase Budinger 2009 No. 44 Detroit 2009-2014 5
Grant Jerrett 2013 No. 40 Portland HNP 0
Nick Johnson 2014 No. 42 Houston HNP 0


NickJohnsonNBA

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com 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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