David Johnson 2021 NBA Draft Profile

The Louisville guard declared early for the league, and is expected to be the first Cardinal taken in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Publish date:

(Photo of David Johnson: Paul Rutherford - USA TODAY Sports)

Prospect: David Johnson
Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard
School: Louisville
Year: Sophomore
Height, Weight: 6-5, 210


Born Feb. 6, 2001 (age 20) to father Randy and mother Sheritha. Father played college basketball at the JUCO level, and cousin is former Louisville forward Ray Spalding. He was a four-year starter at Trinity High School, averaging 16.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists as a senior, and helping lead the Shamrocks to a 30-8 record and Kentucky state championship.

Johnson was a near-consensus top 100 prospect out of high school, ranking as high as the No. 76 prospect in the Class of 2019 according to ESPN. He committed to Louisville as a senior, but backed off and briefly considered flipping to Georgia or Xavier amidst potential NCAA sanctions. He eventually recommitted to his hometown team.

He was slow to start out his freshman year, but had a stellar second half of the 2019-20 season. In the final 15 games of the season starting with a breakout performance at Duke, he put up 8.9 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game after averaging 3.1 points, 0.8 assists and 1.6 rebounds in the previous 12 games.

Over his first nine games of the 2020-21 season, Johnson started to generate lottery buzz. He averaged 14.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 48.0% from the floor and 45.7% from long range.

But when Louisville's season started to unravel due to COVID, so did Johnson. He averaged 10.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists to 2.8 turnovers over his final ten games, while shooting 35.5% from the field and 33.3% on threes. He would up just being named an honorable mention All-ACC, but opted to turn pro.

Collegiate Stats
















NBA Draft Combine Measurements

Anthropometric Stats

  • Body Fat %: 7.50%
  • Hand Length (Inches): 8.25
  • Hand Width (Inches): 8.50
  • Height W/O Shoes: 6'3.25"
  • Height W/ Shoes: 6'4.75"
  • Standing Reach: 8'8.0"
  • Weight (LBS): 202.8
  • Wingspan: 6'10.5"

Strength & Agility Stats

  • Lane Agility Time (Seconds): 12.02
  • Shuttle Run (Seconds): 3.20
  • Three Quarter Sprint (Seconds): 3.03
  • Standing Vertical Leap (Inches): 33.0
  • Max Vertical Leap (Inches): 39.0

Scouting Report


  • His height and wingspan give him a good frame to operate with at the next level. While he is not overtly athletic, his measurables have mismatch potential against other guards in the NBA.
  • Has excellent court vision. He does a great job reading defenses both in the half court and on the break. Is one of the pick-and-roll operators in the draft class. Has a high level of accuracy with passes nearly everywhere on the court, especially with his dominant hand.
  • Is a terrific spot-up long range shooter. Per Synergy, he had a 71.4% effective field goal percentage on catch-and-shoot three pointers, although took only 42 attempts.
  • Thanks to his size, he is a solid defender who is able to occupy passing lanes. He does well in mismatches, defending wings and power forwards better than most guards. He post offense and defense is well above average for his position.


  • While Johnson does read defenses well, turnovers have been a huge problem. He struggles to separate from defenders and penetrate the lane, leading to wild and reckless passes. Averaged more turnovers (61) than assists (60) last season.
  • As previously noted, athleticism is not his strong suit. There's a reason Louisville tasked him mainly with guarding threes and fours, as his lateral movement is lacking and his plays extremely stiff.
  • Johnson does well in catch-and-shoot situations, but struggles to shoot in most other facets, especially on pull-up jumpers. Per Synergy, he had an effective field goal percentage of 22.0% on such shots, good for 461st out of 463 D1 players with a minimum of 50 attempts.


You can follow Louisville Report for future coverage by liking us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:

Facebook - @LouisvilleOnSI
Twitter - @LouisvilleOnSI
Instagram - @louisville_report

You can also follow Deputy Editor Matthew McGavic at @GeneralWasp on Twitter