Armon Johnson wants to make one thing perfectly clear about his future as a NBA player.
“I’m a point guard,” the former Wolf Pack player told the New York Post this week. “That’s what I played three years in college. That’s what I plan on playing in the NBA.”
Johnson, who was in New Jersey on Wednesday for a pre-draft workout with the New Jersey Nets, is a possibility for the Nets in the June 24 draft with the 27th or 31st pick in the draft.
“He has a great body,” Nets assistant coach Tom Barrise told the New York Post. “NBA body. Long arms. He probably can play two positions in our league. He’s probably more of a slasher at the two (shooting guard) and would have to grow into the point guard state.”
Barrise said Johnson is “in the 25-35 range” in the draft. The 31st pick, which the Nets own, is the first pick of the second round.
The Nets, who recently hired Avery Johnson as head coach, currently have eight guards on their roster: Devin Harris, Keyon Dooling, Trenton Hassell, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Courtney Lee, Chris Quinn, Bobby Simmons and Terrence Williams. The Nets, though, are reportedly looking for a backup point guard behind Harris.
Johnson, who left the Wolf Pack after his junior season, averaged 14.3 points and 5.7 assists in his career at Nevada. He left the school as the ninth-best scorer in Pack history (1,441 points) and No. 4 in career assists (445).
Johnson has impressed NBA teams with his size, athletic ability and basketball IQ. The 6-foot-3 guard was described recently on nyknicks.com after a workout with the New York Knicks as being the player who “might be the most athletic player in this year’s draft.”
In his official NBA video for draft prospects Johnson is seen saying, “I’m Armon Johnson from Chicago, Illinois (he was born in Chicago) . . . There’s never a dull moment on the court with me . . . I’m nervous but at the same time I’m ready and prepared.”
Johnson was also quoted on grizzlies.com about his thoughts on the NBA draft process after a workout with the Memphis Grizzlies. “It’s unlike anything else,” Johnson said. “It’s kind of like college recruiting (except) you are trying to pitch your story to them. It’s a different experience but it’s been great for me. It’s kind of unreal.”
Former Pack player Luke Babbitt, who is expected to be selected somewhere within the first 20 picks, worked out with the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this week for the second time this spring. The Bucks have the 15th pick in the draft.
“I wanted to come back and they wanted to have me back,” Babbitt told the Bucks public relations department. “I’m sure they are interested. I’m thankful they wanted me back. I think any rookie in my position would want to be here.”