Well, the Johnson vs. Cousins thing sure has been beat to death. And really, how much can you talk about Character issues, team fit, etc. before your head explodes?
With all of Johnson's red flags, I thought it would be interesting to compare him to someone who is thought of much more highly - Evan Turner. Now, I think that Turner is the better prospect, and would have taken him if I got the choice. But I don't think the difference is as pronounced as some are making it seem.
We know what Johnson's red flags are - age, lack of ballhandling ability, only good, not great production in college. But I feel that Turner has some pretty large ones also, that seem to be glossed over quite frequently. Here they are:
1. Athleticism. This has been talked about a lot, but then someone mentions Brandon Roy, and it gets forgotten. The problem with this is two-fold: players like Brandon Roy and Paul Pierce are the exception, not the rule. We constantly see this when white players come up - as so many unathletic white college stars have failed in the NBA - but it tends to be glossed over with unathletic black players. Also, Brandon Roy's combine numbers were very good. He had 6 inches on Turner in both no-step and max vertical. It isn't a good sign when a player who is thought of as unathletic by NBA standards has 6 inches in vertical on you.
2. Outside shot. Of the unathletic players that have made it in the NBA, they tend to have one thing in common - ability to stretch the defense with their outside shot. Now, Turner appears to have good form, and as a hard worker, I think most expect him to be at least a proficient 3-point shooter, but at the moment, he isn't. Below average athleticism AND a below average outside shot is a combination few have overcome to become impact players.
3. Position. This isn't a big deal, but I thought I'd mention it. He basically played point all year for Ohio State. Most assume he'll transition smoothly to moving over to shooting guard, but it doesn't always happen like that. He might not mesh will with Ball-dominant point guards, as we've never really seen what he can do without the ball in his hands.
4. Fit. I know. I know. I know. BPA! BPA! BPA! But still, like it or not, Kahn is building this team around Rubio, and is surrounding him with guys who will thrive in transition and can knock down outside shots when they get them. Now, Turner would probably be fine in a transition-based offense, with his court vision and passing ability, but he does look like he's more suited for a half-court set. He would look really good next to Flynn, as he could make up for some of Flynn's deficiencies, but the fit next to Rubio, and in a run and gun offense, is less clear.
5. Age. For all the talk about Johnson's age, he is just one year older than Turner. A year is a year, but it's not like Turner is a 19 year old or anything.
So, there you have it. As I said at the top, I still think that Turner is the better prospect, as his combination of talents are extremely unique, and a lot of the good things that are said about Johnson also hold true for him: nice guy, hard worker, etc. But it isn't like we went from Shaquille O'Neal to Christian Laettner when we dropped from 2 to 4. Both guys are very good prospects, but both have some major flaws that need to be addressed if they're ever going to be stars in this league. And, the guy we got does fit in better with what our organization is trying to do, whether or not you agree that what they are trying to do is actually what they SHOULD be doing.
So, that was all a long way of saying that I've decided to be a member of the Wesley Snipes fanclub. Who's with me?