David Johnson Projected as Mid-Second Round Pick in Post-Lottery SI NBA Mock Draft

Sports Illustrated projects that the former Louisville men's basketball guard will get selected in the middle of the second round in their post-lottery 2021 NBA Mock Draft.
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(Photo of David Johnson: Paul Rutherford - USA TODAY Sports)

NEW YORK - With the 2021 NBA Draft Combine currently ongoing in Chicago, Ill., it is only matter of time before the 2021 NBA Draft gets here, and the next crop of former Louisville men's basketball players officially begin their professional careers.

Guard Carlik Jones was able to play his way to a combine invite thanks to his performance in the G League Elite Camp, but the former Cardinal whose name we will likely hear the most on draft night is guard David Johnson.

Following the completion of the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, the order for July 29's draft is now set. Not long after, Sports Illustrated NBA Draft insider Jeremy Woo released his post-lottery NBA Mock Draft, using "intel and conversations with people around the NBA" as the basis for his picks.

So when, and whom by, does he project Johnson will be drafted? Woo projects that the 6-foot-5, 210-pound guard will be selected with the No. 47 overall pick by the Toronto Raptors by way of the Miami Heat.

Johnson was the Cardinals' second-leading scorer behind Jones during the 2020-21 season, averaging 12.6 points over 19 games. He also chipped in with 5.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 41.1% from the field and 38.6% on three-point attempts, earning honorable mention All-ACC honors.

Heading into this past season, the Louisville native was regarded to be a borderline NBA Lottery pick, and played like one to begin the season. Over his first nine games, the Trinity alum 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 his performance in the second half of the season left many to wonder if he would leave early for the NBA or come back for another season. Johnson 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.

"Johnson did take a significant step forward as a perimeter shooter, and he’s a good passer with NBA-caliber size and vision," Woo wrote in his last NBA Draft Big Board. "The fit wasn’t ideal this season, but his struggles creating his own offense in the halfcourt and scoring in the paint have persisted. Johnson remains a potential Top 40 selection, but his range of the draft has become a bit guard-heavy, and he’ll have some work to do during the predraft process."

Johnson burst onto the scene during the second half of his freshman campaign last season. In the final 15 games, Johnson averaged 8.9 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals while shooting 49.5% from the field. He had scored 37 points for his first 12 games of the season before totaling 132 in the last 14 games.

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