Four guys above, four guys below. Wesley Johnson is the man in the middle of our 9 players, 9 days series
. Thoughts and info after the jump.
23 (in July)
195 lbs. (DraftExpress), 198 lbs. (ESPN)
If fit or team needs were the primary concern, Wesley Johnson would probably be at the top of this list. If I take a step back and look at the Sixers roster, the #1 need in the short term is a wing who can score and shoot. Wesley Johnson is that guy. Deep range on his jumper, positional versatility, decent defender (at least). I firmly believe Johnson could step in and be a 20 ppg scorer playing off Jrue and Iguodala's playmaking skills. He wouldn't be a liability on the defensive end and he'd help the running game. Short term, the guy who definitely makes this team better in 2010-2011 is Wesley Johnson.
Long term, does he move the needle enough? The odds of Johnson becoming a superstar are probably nonexistent. I believe he's going to be a really solid pro. I think if Jrue really progresses, Johnson could make a career off of drive-and-kick situations. He could score a ton of points. But if you're of the mind that you absolutely have to have a superstar to be truly relevant in this league, Johnson isn't going to be that guy. In a weird way, he'd probably hurt your chances of getting a superstar in the draft by making the team better.
If you're asking yourself why I have Johnson at #5, considering I think he's the best fit, the answer is simple. I think the four guys above him all have a chance at being a superstar, a guy who can carry a team. Johnson is a cog, and a very good one, but the other four all have the potential to be a centerpiece, in one way or another.
YouTube is having some problems right now, but this link should take you to a Wesley Johnson highlight reel
To be clear, if the Sixers wind up at #6 or lower I'll be completely thrilled if Wesley Johnson winds up being the pick. No hesitation, he's a great fit. He's probably worth trading up for as well. But if they wind up with a top-three pick, he shouldn't be a consideration.
Here's a look at my top 9, including WJ:
9. Ed Davis
8. Cole Aldrich
7. Ekpe Udoh
6. Al-Farouq Aminu
5. Wesley Johnson
4. Coming tomorrow
Thoughts in the comments, as usual. Check back around noon for this week's "Pressing Questions" thread.