Stanley Johnson wants Pistons to 'pull the trigger' in draft
Auburn Hills – The Pistons hosted two confident draft prospects on Monday.
Arizona forward Stanley Johnson has supreme confidence in his playing abilities and attacked reports that he is not a good finisher. And Florida guard Michael Frazier believes he is the best shooter in the country and wants to be the new Mr. Big Shot for the Pistons.
"They want to see an all-around game; I am very, very versatile," Johnson said. "I played all spots on the floor and I can do a lot of things."
Johnson is projected to be a lottery pick; the Pistons own the No. 8 selection in next Thursday night's draft. He is like a freight train on the floor and loves to run the lanes on fast breaks. But he has two traits that Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy especially likes: He is an aggressive defender and he shot 37.1 percent on 3-pointers during his freshman season at Arizona.
Johnson gave his agent a list of teams he wanted to play for and those he was not keen on. The Pistons were on the good side.
"Hopefully everything is pointing toward me getting picked here," Johnson said Monday after a workout for the Pistons in Auburn Hills. "I think highly of myself. If it makes sense, go ahead and pull the trigger on it."
Teams are skeptical of his ball-handling skills; Johnson scoffs at that criticism. He played point guard at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, California, and said he can handle the ball just fine.
One of the players Johnson is keeping a sharp eye on is Golden State forward Draymond Green, who gets praised for guarding multiple positions. Johnson said he can do the same.
"I am bigger than him and he is playing five (center)," said the 6-7, 250-pound Johnson. "If you are big and you can play multiple positions you have more value for your team. I think that is the asset of being big and mobile."
Frazer believes he is the best shooter in the draft. That is why he is likely to be a first-round pick, and it is why he got a workout with the Pistons. Frazier averaged 12.1 points and made 38 percent of his 3-point attempts last season.
During workouts he is not as interested in showing teams that he can shoot as showing them the other things he can do. He believes he can work the pick-and-roll and defend.
"I think I am the best shooter in this draft," he said. "My numbers speak for themselves. When I come into these workouts I am really focused on things they have not seen me do a lot of. If I could not shoot the ball as well as I can I would not be in this position. I am focused on defending, being a leader, show I can put the ball on the floor, and I can create shots for others."
There are a number of prospects in these workouts that can shoot. But can they make clutch shots at the end of games?
"I shoot the ball in my sleep," Frazier said. "Any time I get a chance I think about shooting the ball in a situation like that. I won't be nervous."
On the radar
Terran Petteway didn't ask any questions when his agent told him the Pistons wanted a second look at him.
Petteway, the shooting guard from Nebraska, became the first player to get a second workout with the Pistons.
Petteway is definitely on the Pistons' radar for their second-round selection. Petteway is not likely to be a first-round pick, especially at the No. 8 spot that the Pistons currently hold.
"I don't think they would bring a guy back if they were not interested," Petteway said Thursday. "I was definitely honored and blessed to be in for a second workout."
Petteway did not shoot as well as he would have liked Monday, but he tried to show the same energy and enthusiasm that got him a second look. He is 6-foot-6 and averaged 18.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists last season.
Petteway's role with the Cornhuskers was primary scoring threat. On the Pistons he probably would be a role player, a spark off the bench, if he made the squad.
"I can be a two-way guard for them," Petteway said. "I can help them on the defensive end and score the ball on the offensive end."
Petteway said the Pistons coaching staff on Monday asked more detailed questions about his personal life and basketball abilities.
"I definitely think I can help them," Petteway. "I got a good vibe from them. Hopefully they see something in me where I can help this team. We'll see."