Sixers 2023 NBA Draft targets: Keyontae Johnson

PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 07: Shirts line the seats of the Wells Fargo Center for fans before the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 07, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The 2023 NBA Draft takes place tonight, and while the Philadelphia 76ers are currently without a pick, the team is expected to acquire one before the end of the evening.

Keyontae Johnson is a 23-year-old, 6’5″ forward from Kansas State University, weighing in at 238 pounds. Keyontae is one of the most well-known players in college basketball due to his commitment to the sport after a terrifying collapse during his time with the University of Florida, and his subsequent rise to stardom at Kansas State.

At Kansas State, Keyontae averaged 17.4 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game, and 2.1 assists per game on 51.6% shooting from the field and 40.5% shooting from beyond the arc. He is currently projected to go anywhere from the late 30s to the late 40s in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Before anything else, his biggest strength is his perseverance and his love for basketball. Not many people would turn down 5 million dollars to stop playing basketball, but Johnson did turn it down for a chance to make it to the NBA, and that chance will pay off Thursday when his name will eventually be called, and he will have officially made it to the NBA.

Keyontae Johnson’s Strengths

On the court, there is a lot to love about Keyontae Johnson. We can talk about his catch-and-shoot ability, where he was one of the best in the nation, shooting 45.0% on a high volume of catch-and-shoot threes. Or we can talk about his cutting ability, which is some of the best in the entire draft.

Keyontae Johnson leaves defenders in a daze as soon as they move their focus from him, leading to an easy dunk or layup. His drives to the basket are strong, often bullying his way to a bucket, and his defense is just as strong, able to guard multiple positions. His versatility on the court has to be one of the most tantalizing things about him.

Keyontae Johnson’s Areas of Improvement

As for areas in need of improvement, his decision-making on the court appears to be one with some room to grow. Because of his strength and ability, Johnson sometimes gets into trouble driving into the lane. When he’s stuck, he’ll either drive into multiple defenders in an attempt to will his way toward the basket, or he’ll pick up the ball around the elbows and get caught in a trap that forces him to try and find a pass to make. He also will lower his shoulder during drives, causing him to pick up a lot of charges that could’ve been avoided.

As for the rest of Keyontae Johnson’s offense, he lacks the ability to create 1v1 separation, which, when combined with his low elevation jump shot, leads to easy contests and blocked shots.