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2019 NBA Draft Profiles: The Presti and the Anti-Presti Targets

Iona v North Carolina Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Talen Horton-Tucker:

Stats (http://www.tankathon.com/players/talen-horton-tucker):

Next up among draft prospects is quite possibly the most Sam Presti guy of them all, Talen Horton-Tucker (THT for short). The Iowa State guard/forward stands 6’4” with a massive 7’1.25” wingspan and at age 18 can best be described as “toolsy”. That is to say he’s got lots of things that make him interesting in his abilities but none of them have really translated overly well on court.

Horton-Tucker’s draft comparisons seem to pretty much span any imaginable possibility from Eric Gordon to PJ Tucker to the Thunder’s own Deonte Burton. He’s a very good rebounder and can create for himself and others. He can also play a bit of bully ball in getting to the rim as seen here:

He’s also got a little bit of a stepback and can shoot off the dribble in spurts as well (credit to NBA Draft Junkies for the second clip and analysis here):

The issue with THT is that these skills are often just that: spurts. The main example is that he shot 30.8% from the three-point stripe. This isn’t quite so concerning if he had better free throw shooting numbers (free throw shooting has generally correlated better to NBA 3 point shooting and is taken into account in projections) but he’s only a 62.5% free throw shooter.

His 48.8% true shooting percentage is also below-average, and remarkably low when compared to the other prospects we’ve looked at so far (as are his other advanced offensive and defensive numbers as seen below):

Additionally, multiple draft reports paint him as a player with poor shot selection and a poor defender who doesn’t always have the best focus or basketball sense on the court. Horton-Tucker looks like a second round prospect for a team with multiple selections and can afford a miss.

Cameron Johnson:

Stats (http://www.tankathon.com/players/cameron-johnson):

Cameron Johnson is a 23-year-old forward who is likely the oldest player to be drafted in the first round of the NBA draft. He projects as a stretch forward who can shoot the lights out even if he doesn’t create a ton of his own shots. In some ways, he’s the opposite of THT in that his measurables don’t fit the Presti profile but he does definitely fit a need for the Thunder.

Johnson is a stronger offensive player who may be average defensively. He’s not terribly athletic or lengthy, and also doesn’t have a terribly high block or steal rate. However, he is noted as an active defender and high character player who will stay within his role and contribute. He also was arguably the best player on a UNC squad that included prized prospect Nassir Little.

He moves well off ball and around screens (shown below) and is a decent rebounder who gets his share of assists as well. He shoots well from basically everywhere on the court. Though he’s not great at creating his own shot does seem to use his height and size well to shoot over guys as seen here (credit to Pacific Hoops).

For a team in the Thunder’s position, Johnson could fill a role they really could use. He’s smart, mature, moves well, and may be playable despite any defensive limitations. Some draft comparisons liken him to Justin Jackson or Jonas Jerebko, but he could compare better to Doug McDermott with slightly more passing and a lower volume scorer.