Stanley Johnson is a story of unfulfilled promise — he’s become a solid defender, but his offense is so bad it’s hard for Stan Van Gundy to keep him on the court in Detroit. Johnson is shooting 34.8 percent overall and 29.1 percent from three (where he takes 45 percent of his attempts). He gets 43 percent of his shot attempts on spot-ups, and he’s shooting 27.4 percent on those. With the Pistons already having one non-shooting player on the floor at almost all times already — Andre Drummond or one of their other big men — having another just kills the spacing. In today’s NBA, two non-shooters on the floor at once is death.
With rookie Luke Kennard emerging in Detroit and the team actively looking for roster upgrades at the deadline, the Pistons seem ready to move on from Johnson if the right deal can be found, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.
Forward Stanley Johnson is one name that has come up in the Pistons’ conversations with other teams, per ESPN sources. Opposing teams have come away with the impression that Johnson is available for the right return.
Detroit’s not going to get much for him, certainly not in this tight market. Johnson is just 21 years old, he is athletic, and he has the potential to be a real defensive stopper. This trade would be about just that, his potential, another team may covet that. However, his offensive issues limit his ceiling.
It’s not likely the Pistons make a home-run move at the deadline, but if they can find a solid single Stan Van Gundy may take it. Johnson could be the guy heading out in such a scenario. It’s something to watch.