The Los Angeles Lakers welcomed another group of prospects to the UCLA Health Training Center for pre-draft workouts. Armed with the No. 25 and 47 picks on June 21, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka will have another opportunity to add to the team’s young core.
An intriguing prospect is Justin Johnson, who played all four seasons at Western Kentucky. While the 22-year-old nearly averaged a double-double during his junior and senior years, he developed into a legitimate 3-point shooter.
After shooting 11.1 percent on 0.3 attempts from beyond the arc in his sophomore year, Johnson eventually became a 41.6 percent shooter on 3.0 attempts by the end of his collegiate career.
Following Johnson’s workout with the Lakers, he discussed how rebounding is still his main focus and how it has become a lost art in today’s game, via the team’s Twitter account:
“I got 1,000 rebounds this year in my college career. I scored over 1,500 points and I didn’t care about that. That 1,000 rebounds is something special to me because not every day you see a guy in the country get 1,000 rebounds in four years. That’s something I took great pride in.”
As Johnson considers himself an undersized stretch-four, he models his game after Draymond Green and discussed the importance of the two-time champion:
“I really model my game after Draymond Green. He’s a glue guy. Without him, those guys don’t roll. He rebounds the basketball for them. He gets people open shots and defends. He holds them together. I can do without all those antics sometimes, but that’s a great guy to model your game if you’re an undersized four like me.”
As Dennis Rodman is one of Johnson’s all-time favorite players, recording over 1,000 rebounds is impressive. Since his mindset is doing all of the dirty work, he received an invitation from the Philadelphia Eagles to attend their minicamp. While Johnson would have played tight end, he is currently focused on making it to the NBA.
With the 2018 NBA Draft nearing, it will be interesting to see what positions the Lakers focus on. Although there have been numerous reports about Mitchell Robinson receiving a promise from the storied franchise, Los Angeles could improve their backcourt depth.
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