NBL Next Star AJ Johnson has followed Alex Sarr in having his named called out at the 2024 NBA Draft.

27 Jun

Illawarra Hawk AJ Johnson has been selected at pick 23 at the 2024 NBA Draft, landing at the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 19-year-old Next Star spent the NBL24 season in Australia, highlighting his exciting, raw talent, with some big plays as part of the Hawks' bench rotation. 

“Johnson flashed his talent at the NBA combine much like he did in short spurts this season in the NBL, showing his ability to operate at different speeds, make shots off the bounce and find teammates on the move. He has obvious things to build off as his frame and game continue to mature, especially on a patient team willing to give him the developmental reps,” ESPN expert Jonathan Givony said in the lead-up to the Draft.

Johnson had been ranked in the mid-30s in the latest mock drafts, but NBA teams clearly saw the potential in the 6'4 guard.

Draft Profile Aj Johnson 16x9

Name: AJ Johnson
Position: G
Height: 6'6
Weight: 76 kg
Age: 19
Born: USA

Draft Profile Headers (1)

A shifty guard whose athleticism, potential and recent performance at the draft combine will make NBA teams intrigued.

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Draft Profile Headers in Action

The high-flying Hawks Next Star possesses many of the physical traits of Portland Trail Blazers star Anfernee Simons. If Johnson is to fulfil his potential at the next level, his ability to get to the basket and shoot from the outside provides a similar offensive profile to Simons. 

Getty Images 1986886816 2Anfernee Simons.

Draft Profile Headers Season Insight

Averages: 2.8 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.7 APG
Season highlight: Round 10 vs Perth Wildcats - 8 PTS (3-8 FG), 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 BLK

Draft Profile Headers Draft Projection

Johnson’s quickness combined with his athleticism means he can get to the rim already at the professional level. A quality form on his jump shot is evident and his ability to consistently knock down shots will unlock the next level to his game.

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Draft Profile Headers Compared To

“Johnson is the guard with the highest upside in the draft and could sneak inside the first round with how well he played at the combine.” - Krysten Peek (Yahoo)

“Johnson’s ability to get to spots as a scorer in a fluid, on-balance manner is real. His jumper is mechanically sound, both off the catch and bounce … everything looks clean and pure enough to where Johnson should be a very high-level shooter down the road.” - Sam Vecenie (The Athletic)

Draft Profile Headers in Action

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