Stanley Johnson
Stanley Johnson
23-Year-Old ForwardF
Toronto Raptors
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Johnson was extremely underwhelming across a career-low 66 appearances this past season. While he finished with a career-high field goal percentage (38.9), that's still well below the league average (46.1 percent). Moreover, he handed out a career-worst 1.3 assists per contest and remained a total liability on the offensive end. Nevertheless, the Raptors decided to take a chance on Johnson in free agency this summer. With Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green no longer on the roster, it's possible the 23-year-old small forward will end up cracking the regular rotation thanks to his defensive versatility along the wing. That said, Johnson isn't necessarily a player that should be targeted in fantasy drafts outside of the very deepest leagues. Unless he significantly improves his offensive efficiency and earns close to a sixth-man role, Johnson may ultimately be relegated to waiver wires across most formats. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $7.42 million contract with the Raptors in July of 2019.
To join Raptors
FToronto Raptors
July 6, 2019
Johnson has agreed to a two-year, $7.5 million deal with the Raptors, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Following the loss of Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers, the Raptors' front office is shoring up its wing depth by adding Johnson. While he's proven to be a strong defender, Johnson's offense has been slow to develop. He has yet to crack the 40 percent mark from the field in any of his first four seasons.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
After coming off the bench for his first two seasons, Johnson entered the 2017-18 campaign as one of the top candidates to take over a starting role. He ended up securing 50 starts across 69 games, but never ran away with the job and was an overall disappointment. Johnson finished the year averaging a career-high 27.4 minutes, though that only translated to a modest bump in his production. The 22-year-old posted 8.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals, which meant he wasn't a contributor in anything but deeper Fantasy leagues. He also knocked down 1.0 three-pointer per game, but didn't show any improvements with his consistency and only had a 28.6 percent success rate from deep. Johnson will have a chance at a fresh start with new head coach Dwane Casey coming to town, but it's unclear whether or not he'll ultimately commit to Johnson as a starter. Luke Kennard is coming off a solid rookie season and could be in line for a role with the top unit, while Reggie Bullock had his team option picked up and Glenn Robinson was signed during free agency. As a result, Johnson will once again have to earn his spot with the top unit. Whether a starter or a bench piece, Johnson shouldn't be relied upon for significant Fantasy contributions and it may be wise to temper expectations heading into his fourth year.
A solid rookie year gave Johnson high expectations going into the 2016-17 campaign, but he ended up falling off a bit. While he played in a career-high 77 games, his minutes fell from 23.1 per game to just 17.8. That translated to averages of 4.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists, which kept him off the radar in the majority of Fantasy formats. The Pistons ended up losing one of their best offensive threats in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during free agency, but traded for Avery Bradley and selected Luke Kennard in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft, so the shooting guard position should be a little crowded. However, coach Stan Van Gundy has already said he's going to get Johnson more minutes at small forward and could even potentially put him at power forward in small ball lineups, which makes sense given Johnson's 6-foot-7 frame. Marcus Morris was sent to the Celtics in the Bradley trade, which should open more playing time for Johnson. The Pistons could go with a starting lineup that features Johnson, Tobias Harris and Andre Drummond in the frontcourt, although they could also go a bit bigger with Harris, Jon Leuer and Drummond. Either way, Johnson is going to get every opportunity to battle for a starting role, which should mean more minutes and better production in his third NBA season. While Johnson's value is certainly on the rise, he would also benefit with a better deep ball, as he shot just 29.2 percent from the three-point line last season.
Johnson's rookie campaign could best be described as uneven, as the 20-year-old used his combination of size and aggressiveness to torch the competition during the summer league, but wasn't able to consistently take advantage of those traits once the regular season began. The swingman most notably struggled to find much rhythm as a shooter, hitting just 37.5 percent of his attempts from the field. That lack of efficiency resulted in coach Stan Van Gundy handing heavy minutes to starting wings Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris in the first half of the season, but Johnson gradually earned a larger role as the team's sixth man when the calendar flipped to 2016. Over a 14-game stretch from Jan. 14 through Feb. 6, Johnson enjoyed his best run of the season, averaging 12.4 points on 45.7 percent shooting from the floor to go with 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 three-pointers across 26.9 minutes per game. However, that success would prove short lived, as Johnson ended up spraining his shoulder later in February and then reverted back to his poor shooting ways upon returning to action in March. In more consciously embracing his offensive strengths -- namely, using his 6-foot-7 frame to bully smaller wing defenders -- Johnson could tap further into his considerable upside in 2016-17, especially if he uses training camp as an opportunity to refine his jumper and ball handling. He'll likely open the season in a bench role, but with some expected skills growth, Johnson should at least benefit from an uptick in minutes.
Johnson was a controversial pick at No. 8 in this summer's draft, because the media was so self-obsessed with the intrigue surrounding Justise Winslow that they balked at the idea of drafting another small forward before Winslow, but any chatter of the Pistons making a mistake was quickly shut down by Johnson's spectacular showing at the Orlando Summer League. Through five games, he averaged 16.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.0 block in 27 minutes per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 41 percent from three. Those statistics are good, but they don't tell the whole story. Johnson was so good at summer league that he was considered by many in the media to be the best player at any of the three summer leagues, and coach Stan Van Gundy was impressed enough to suggest that Johnson will challenge for a starting spot at small forward or shooting guard against Marcus Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the two players currently projected to start over Johnson. He has a chance to be a do-it-all player, and with the agressiveness and intelligence with which he plays both sides of the ball, Johnson's potential could be in the MVP range at some point in his career. Dynasty players should have him on their radar.
More Fantasy News
Has qualifying offer declined
FNew Orleans Pelicans
June 26, 2019
Johnson had his qualifying offer declined and will become a free agent, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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Ruled out for finale
FNew Orleans Pelicans
April 8, 2019
Johnson (ankle) will not play Tuesday against the Warriors.
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Ruled out Sunday
FNew Orleans Pelicans
April 6, 2019
Johnson (ankle) had been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Kings.
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Out with bruised ankle
FNew Orleans Pelicans
April 5, 2019
Johnson is out for Friday's matchup against the Suns due to a left ankle bruise.
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Plays well off bench
FNew Orleans Pelicans
March 29, 2019
Johnson posted 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-3 3Pt), four assists, two rebounds, two steals and one block in 20 minutes Thursday in the Pelicans' 121-118 win over the Kings.
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