Arizona’s Stanley Johnson became the 13th lottery pick in school history when he was selected #8 in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. Not long after Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was selected #23 by the Portland Trailblazers (before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets), the 21st first round draft pick to come out of the University of Arizona.
Johnson enters a favorable situation as the roster currently stands, but Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy has expressed a desire to bring in a veteran small forward in free agency. That could limit Johnson’s minutes in his rookie season, but if Johnson’s defensive versatility translates to the pro game he should still see meaningful minutes in the Pistons rotation.
Johnson’s physical toughness on the perimeter will help complement budding superstar Andre Drummond, who is emerging into one of the best young centers in the NBA. Van Gundy also values three point shooting, so Johnson can carve out a role early if he converts his long distance shots.
Immediately after Hollis-Jefferson was drafted, the Brooklyn Nets began negotiating trade talks for the former Wildcat. After negotiating, Hollis-Jefferson was traded to the Nets along with veteran guard Steve Blake for second round selection Pat Connaughton and Mason Plumlee.
Hollis-Jefferson’s role in Brooklyn is unclear, although starting small forward Joe Johnson figures to play heavy minutes on the wing.