When the Detroit Pistons drafted Stanley Johnson 8th overall in this year’s NBA Draft, there were a few doubters out there throwing reluctance at the choice. It’s safe to say that he is washing away a lot of the negativity thus far this NBA Summer League.
In his debut on Saturday against Orlando he posted a solid 13 points (5/8 FG) to go along with a few impressive plays on the defensive end of the floor. He followed that performance up today valiantly as he went off against the Clippers and dropped 24 points on a highly efficient 10 of 14 shooting. He also added 9 rebounds (3 off, 6 def) and 3 steals in 30 minutes of action. The Pistons beat the Clippers 77-69 to move to 1-1 in summer play.
What has impressed me the most from Johnson so far has been his all-around game and his attitude. He’s done a little bit of everything for Detroit this summer league. He’s scored, rebounded and he’s shown to be an impressive passer. His jump shot will need some work but his form looks nice. What’s more is that he has attacked the rim with abandon – something that was said pre-draft to be a profound weakness in his game. He plays basketball with fire and passion, something that president and head coach Stan Van Gundy will love instantly about the young man.
After watching the first two NBA Summer League games, as a Pistons fan and unbiased analyst, I feel Stanley Johnson’s ceiling is miles higher than previously thought and he has the skills and mentality to be an all-star caliber player in this league sooner rather than later.