UNC’s Cam Johnson on his 27-point performance on against Wake
Four Heat officials spent an hour on Friday watching North Carolina swingman Cameron Johnson do what he does best: drain shot after shot in a workout at a Davie Jewish Community Center.
Heat vice president/player personnel and assistant general manager Adam Simon, along with director of scouting Eric Amsler and scouts Keith Askins and Bob McAdoo, led the Heat contingent observing Johnson, considered perhaps the best shooter expected to go in the first round of the NBA Draft.
The workout, attended by 24 NBA teams, was arranged by his agent, Miami Beach-based Seth Cohen of SAC Sports Representation.
The Heat picks 13th in the June 20 draft, and Johnson said “15 to 25 is most consistent thing I’m hearing” as far as where he will be drafted.
The Heat has not booked him for a private workout but holds his offensive skills in high regard. Whether Miami would deem 13 too high remains to be seen.
Johnson, 6-9, averaged 16.9 points and 5.9 rebounds last season in 29.9 minutes per game while leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in three-point percentage (45.7) and finishing third in the ACC in points and field goals.
“I thought I could be over 50 all year [on threes],” Johnson said, having gone 96 for 210 beyond the arc last season. “If it was under 47, I was like, ‘Dang, I was slacking.’”
Johnson met with Atlanta after his workout and plans to visit the 76ers, among other teams.
ESPN has him going 21st, just ahead of Southern Cal guard Kevin Porter and Kentucky swingman Keldon Johnson.
Beyond shooting, he said his strengths include “basketball IQ, understanding of the game, understand spacing offensively and defensively. Defensively, I’ve improved a lot the past couple years. Being another ball handler is something that I propped back up to speed later in my college career.”
The Heat previously also has watched North Carolina guard Coby White (expected to be drafted before Miami picks) and UNC swingman Nassir Little (Heat officials studied him in a Las Vegas workout).
One veteran NBA scout, speaking of UNC’s draft prospects, said even though Little is projected ahead of Cameron Johnson by many draft analysts, that scout has more confidence in Johnson’s NBA potential because he has a certifiable skills (distance shooting) while with Little, teams would be projecting what he could after one year of modest production.
Some Heat news regarding several centers in the draft process:
▪ The Heat had Darel Poirier, a highly skilled 6-11 center from France, in for a private workout on Wednesday.
Poirier, projected to go in the second round or undrafted, averaged 9.1 points, 4.1 rebounds 1.0 block and 20 minutes for the Wizards’ G-League team last season.
He’s intriguing to teams because he has three point range (made 1.2 threes per game last year on 34 percent shooting) and is athletic.
▪ Simon and the other Heat officials also attended a Friday agent-organized workout in Miami for Arkansas center Daniel Gafford, who averaged 16.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks last season while being named to the SEC All Defensive team.
▪ Oregon center Bol Bol, whose draft projections have ranged from pre-teens to early 20s, is not planning to work out for the Heat.
MOURNING TO AUDITION
Trey Mourning, son of Heat executive Alonzo Mourning, will have a predraft workout with the Heat in the middle of next week, a source said earlier Friday.
Mourning, a 6-9 forward, averaged 6.3 points and 3.8 rebounds in 26 games for Georgetown last season (including 11 starts). He played entirely off the bench his first three seasons with the Hoyas.
Mourning worked out of the Wizards earlier this week. His father is the Heat’s vice president of player development and programs; the seven-time All Star was a two-team NBA defensive player of the year, and in 2009 became the first NBA player whose jersey was retired by the Heat.
▪ Kentucky power forward P.J. Washington, among several serious candidates for the Heat’s pick at No .13, will work out for Miami on Monday — not Sunday, as ESPN had reported.