Jalen Johnson Rumors
Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, G League Ignite’s Jalen Green and Duke’s Jalen Johnson are all projected as top-eight picks by Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz. Forty-eight years ago, Jeanne Rose named her son Jalen — and with a few dozen variants in pro sports and more on their way — the “Jalen Generation” is in full effect. “I always say that the name Jalen’s a superpower,” Jalen Rose said. “Because, if you’re seeing this level of Jalens when you’re watching college basketball and football, pro basketball and football, that’s a small percentage of the society that actually carry the name.”
But even in light of his controversial decision to bolt Duke, and even despite his concerning track record for prematurely leaving schools (he originally attended Sun Prairie (WI) High School before transferring to Nicolet (WI) High School before transferring to IMG (Fla.) Academy before transferring back to Nicolet for his senior season – NBA personnel are enamored with his skill set and potential. A longtime NBA exec is convinced Johnson will go in the upper half of the draft. “Johnson is still going to be in the lottery,’’ the exec said. “At the start of the season (at Duke), we had him as a top six pick. He isn’t going that high now but he’ll still be in the eight to 14 range.’’
A veteran NBA scout agreed, contending Johnson stands a good chance to be a lottery selection. “That definitely hurt him,’’ the scout said, referring to Johnson’s decision to leave Duke before the season ended. “I don’t think he’s a top 10 guy after what he did, but I see him in the mid-first round area.’’
A week after he announced he would no longer play for Duke this season, Jalen Johnson is no longer a Duke student and has been removed from the team’s roster, The News & Observer has confirmed. The 6-9 freshman forward declared for the NBA draft on Feb. 15 after he and his family consulted with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.