With a little less than four days to go until the 2021 NBA Draft things are heating up for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yesterday, it was reported that Cleveland was looking to trade for an additional top-ten selection in this year’s talented class. Today, The Athletic’s Joe Vardon shared that former Duke Blue Devil and current Rich Paul client Jalen Johnson had a private pre-draft workout for Cleveland.
Former Duke wing Jalen Johnson worked out for the Cavaliers and impressed. He left Durham after just 13 games as a freshman, which caused some harrumphs, but he remains a potential lottery pick. Cavs will select third— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) July 26, 2021
During his time with the Blue Devils Johnson showed flashes of potential as a versatile forward and averaged 11.2 points, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals. Playmaking is his best skill. and he consistently delivered an accurate ball off the bounce and has great court awareness. Would have averaged far more assists if his Duke teammates hit shots. Johnson has drawn comparisons to Rudy Gay and Harrison Barnes. But, teams worry about his character after leaving IMG Academy during his senior year of high school, then departing from Duke after just 13 games.
Johnson will not be in play for Cleveland at no. 3 but if they are able to trade back into the top ten he could be an option. For a team that needs wing depth, Johnson would be a great addition on top of Evan Mobley. Sure, there is a ton of potential there but there are red flags about his commitment and love of the game. Perhaps landing in a professional setting that’s conducive to growth like the Cavs possess is the perfect place for Johnson.