Stanley Johnson reportedly refusing to work out for Charlotte, who are drafting 9th. Hoping to get picked by Detroit (#8) or Miami (#10).— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 19, 2015
Johnson would fill a need for the Hornets — he's a big wing with shooting potential, the ability to score in isolation and to play good defense — so it is unsettling to hear that he's turned down to opportunity to work out for them. This comes just hours after the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell shared this nugget.
Today might be @hornets last pre-draft workout. I would not assume they'd be less willing to draft someone who didn't come to Charlotte.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) June 19, 2015
So it sounds like Johnson might not be off the board for the Hornets. If he is, that would be unfortunate. Because if he indeed drops to nine, he may very well be the best player available, which is something the Hornets have stressed they will be looking for. And, he fits.
In fact, according to fivethirtyeight's Neil Paine and Zach Bradshaw's projections, Johnson has the fifth highest chance of realizing his potential as a star in this Draft. The only players ahead of him are Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell, Justise Winslow, and, yes, Devin Booker. The major knocks on Johnson have been his shooting and overall athleticism, and by all accounts he has addressed his weaknesses head-on and improved dramatically in both areas.
Whether or not Johnson's decision is related to not wanting to play in Charlotte or trying to raise his stock remains to be seen, but there's no doubt that this is a major blow to the Hornets' Draft process.