Arizona Basketball's Keshad Johnson officially declares for 2024 NBA Draft

Oregon v Arizona
Oregon v Arizona / David Becker/GettyImages
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Where Johnson's draft stock stands

Oumar Ballo, Keshad Johnson
Oregon v Arizona / David Becker/GettyImages

Despite having played five seasons of collegiate basketball, it's not too much of a knock on him. He was never overly productive during his four years at San Diego State, averaging only about 7.5 points per game over his two seasons as a full-time starter. Johnson mostly established himself as an excellent defender and was efficient with his limited opportunities, shooting over 53% in each of his last two season in San Diego.

Following a trip to the Final Four with the Aztecs, Johnson landed in Tucson as a grad transfer looking to make one more push for an NCAA Championship. Though the championship dreams were never reached, he had career highs nearly across the board despite the jump in competition: 27.6 minutes, 11.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, one steal, and 0.7 blocks per game.

He's still developing things like his 3-point shot — which was falling at times with Arizona — and he's become a smart player after such an eventful college career despite being just 23. He stands at 6-foot-7, which is on the taller side for the role he'll be asked to play, but he should still fare well. He's projected to get drafted in the early- to mid-second round.

Truth be told, it's highly unlikely that he goes undrafted. Johnson has both the physical traits and the heady defensive mindset that can get it done at the next level. He's still developing after five years of college basketball, and there's nothing to suggest this trajectory will stop with NBA-caliber coaching.

Where Arizona goes from here

Keshad Johnson
Colorado v Arizona / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

The timing seems all too perfect that Johnson would officially declare for the draft just hours after Arizona earned a commitment from former Oakland forward Trey Townsend. Townsend, who has also declared for the 2024 NBA Draft but will likely go unselected, can be expected to hold down the power forward spot in his final year of eligibility.

While Townsend acts as a stopgap, Arizona has some promising young wings coming into the building when the 2024 freshman class hits campus. Incoming five-star power forward Carter Bryant should see time coming off the bench in Townsend's stead, and the other incoming five-star prospect is small forward Joson Sanon.

With Henri Veesaar expected to finally come back from injury as well, Arizona still looks good at the two forward spots. Johnson was an electric played in the red and blue and will be missed, but the Wildcats can safely wish him the best of luck in the NBA without hurting too badly at the spot he had to vacate.

Trey Townsend becomes first to transfer into Arizona Basketball. dark. ICYMI. Town

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