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Spurs: 3 Ways Keldon Johnson must improve to become a star

Keldon Johnson - San Antonio Spurs v Brooklyn Nets
Keldon Johnson - San Antonio Spurs v Brooklyn Nets / Elsa/Getty Images
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Keldon Johnson - Phoenix Suns v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

Keldon Johnson's facilitating was an unexpected surprise for the Spurs

No, I didn't exactly expect this either. When they originally began floating around, I thought that the Russell Westbrook comparisons that Keldon was receiving were just a touch overblown. As the season progressed though, I came to understand those comparisons a bit more outside of the obvious physicality that both players bring to each game and their impressive rebounding skills.

More specifically, while Keldon was able to record 1.6 assists per game in his one year with Kentucky, I did not expect those numbers to translate to the NBA as quickly as they did. In fact, this past season, he slightly surpassed his production at Kentucky, recording 1.8 assists per game in his first full season with the Spurs.

While that may not seem like the most impressive stat ever, it shows that something could be there in the future, even if it isn't at the level of someone like Westbrook. Even above-average facilitating is a skill that continuously goes undervalued in the modern NBA and if there's any chance that Keldon could begin to record even 4-5 assists per game sometime down the road, if not more, that could tremendously increase his value to the team.

Johnson is already able to make some powerful drives to the bucket with the ball in his hands and draw several defenders in the process. These situations are where I believe he will be able to do the most damage as a passer in the future. When he draws defenders into the paint, if he is able to hit one of the Spurs' better perimeter shooters on his drives (I'm looking at Lonnie Walker and Devin Vassell), this could open up some great opportunities for them to hit some wide-open threes.

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