Keldon Johnson: On-Ball Offense

Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite.


 
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Ball-handling

Johnson has a high dribble, and his ball-handling can be loose at times. He has a below average first step and not much east-west in his dribble drive game, but does a good job changing speeds. He struggles to create separation against quick-twitch athletes. He has few dribble moves (a solid in-and-out and right-to left cross), typically attacking decisively with 1-3 dribble straight line drives from spot-up, off screen or handoff situations. However, he remains controlled enough to effectively gather and be efficient from every range (pull-up, runner, at rim) in these scenarios.


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Passing

Johnson tends to be a conservative passer, swinging the ball decisively but often leaving it up to teammates to create an advantage. He is a willing and unselfish passer, but has some issues with placement and timing. Still, there have been some flashes of reads to the weak side of the floor, dump offs and creative kick-outs from underneath the rim when he attacks downhill. Although he has more turnovers than assists, these typically come from his ball-handling rather than his passing.


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Shooting off the dribble

Johnson doesn’t often create shots off the dribble, but when he does he’s been effective in a limited sample. Many of his shots are contested as he doesn’t have the burst to create separation from point-of-attack defenders and doesn’t have much lift on his jump shot. However, when attacking closeouts or receiving dribble handoffs he has displayed good balance and form, squaring up to the rim and not rushing his shot.


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Finishing off the dribble

Johnson is a below-the-rim athlete that relies on body control and touch to finish around the rim. His decisiveness enables him to create some separation, and he does a good job utilizing his solid frame to create angles to finish. He is currently a right hand-dominant finisher. He has a good step-through move to get into the lane, and displays a soft touch on runners and floaters.


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Finishing in the post

Although he has a solid frame for a wing, Johnson isn’t a very physical player. He struggles to seal smaller defenders, and doesn’t have any reliable post moves in his arsenal at this time. The frame and soft touch may enable him to develop a high-post game in time, but doing so effectively will require an adjustment to his on-court mentality.