Dakari Johnson: 19-years old, Kentucky, Center
Draft Express Measurements (Draft Combine): 6″11.75, 265-pounds, 7″2 wingspan
2014-15 Stats: 6.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.9 blocks, 0.4 steals, 51% field goals, 63% free-throws, 0-0 threes, 16.3 minutes
Quick Season Review: Dakari Johnson didn’t get as much opportunity as most draft prospects this season. The two reasons: he was on number one ranked Kentucky and he was playing along two other center prospects (Karl-Anthony Towns & Willie Cauley-Stein). Johnson’s numbers didn’t improve much, as he averaged 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds as a freshman. One area that Johnson improved in significantly was his free-throw shooting, as he went from 45% to 63%. Early on in the season, when given more playing time, Johnson showed what he was capable of. He scored in double-digits in 5 of the 6 games to start the season.
Strengths: Size and strength. Despite not being polished offensively, he is one of the few true centers. Can defend well and blocks shots. Good rebounder, that would’ve averaged about 9-10 rebounds with heavy minutes. Improving free-throw shooter. One of the youngest players in the draft (19-years old).
Weaknesses: Needs to improve post game. Must improve shooting range. 1.1 turnovers/0.7 assists. Not that good of an athlete (25-inch vertical). Ceiling is low, best case might be a good back-up center. Must improve boxing out on rebounds, relies on size.
Where He Would Help Spurs?
Dakari Johnson would add size to the Spurs off the bench. He can add rebounding and shot blocking. Problem with Johnson is that he is a project, he is too raw at this point.
NBA Comparison: Aaron Gray
Aaron Gray is a good player to compare to Johnson. At Pittsburgh, Gray was certainly more polished, but they are similar in terms of body size and athleticism.
Below is a Dakari Johnson highlight video uploaded by North Dallas.