If any player is going to make a massive jump up NBA draft boards following the combine it's only fitting that it's Tennesee's Keon Johnson.
Coming into the combine Johnson was viewed as a top-10 player with some high-end potential, according to Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo. The 6-foot-5 freshman averaged 11.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists last season with some very pedestrian shooting numbers. But following his record-breaking 48-inch vertical leap at the combine, he's certainly attracting a closer look and the Toronto Raptors are one of the teams he's interviewed with.
"I felt like they got a great impression from me," Johnson said of his interview with Toronto.
Johnson is a high-level defender with the kind of defense-first mindset the Raptors and Nick Nurse have come to love. He's long and athletic and has all the physical tools to be a successful NBA impact player.
"If he’s drafted in the top ten, it’s primarily off potential, and he’s unlikely to be an immediate high-level producer," Woo wrote. "But if his shooting improves, his upside as a high-level complementary piece is tantalizing. The hope is he can tackle tough defensive assignments, slash to the rim, and knock down shots enough to keep people honest."
The question with Johnson right now is his offensive repertoire. He was just an average offensive player in the half-court, according to Synergy, and his spot-up shooting and pick-and-roll handling were just average to below-average. Those are areas Johnson said he's working on. He's spent the past few months trying to clean up his ball-handling and his shooting.
"I feel like once I get those two more consistent and a lot tighter I'll be a more complete offensive player," he said Thursday.
Much like Florida State's Scottie Barnes who Toronto also interviewed, Johnson would have made a lot of sense for the Raptors had they stayed at No. 7 in the draft. He has the kind of upside that could really be extracted in Toronto's developmental system, but with the No. 4 pick, the Raptors will likely go for someone with a little more refined offensive game.