Stanley Johnson Is Poised to Become This NBA Season’s Surprise Rookie

August 10th, 2015 by Jonathan Wasserman Leave a reply »

Even at No. 8 overall, Detroit Pistons rookie Stanley Johnson had been undervalued throughout the NBA draft process. 

He was never quite viewed as one of the ultimate prizes or must-have prospects. Those labels were handed out to Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell and Jahlil Okafor. Johnson, who led Arizona to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, saw less-accomplished players like Kristaps Porzingis (11 points per game for Sevilla), Mario Hezonja (5.9 points per game for Barcelona) and Emmanuel Mudiay (12 total games in China) get taken before him.

Following an eye-opening performance in summer league, it now looks like the Pistons landed one of the draft's best bets. And though success in July isn't always indicative of future success in the NBA, Johnson's five-game run in Orlando was simply too convincing to ignore.

He aced the eye test. You got the impression Johnson was a pro among amateurs, as well as a player Detroit could immediately use on its underwhelming wing. 

"Going into Summer League, I was sort of, 'Well, we'll wait and see in terms of his readiness right a ...

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