The Motor City Auto Project


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MCAP Auto #49 - Stanley Johnson
2015-16 Panini Preferred - Crown Royale Silhouettes 95/99


Stanley Johnson was a 5 star prospect across the board coming out of high school. Mr. Basketball California, a McDonald's All-American & USA Today All-USA Boys First Team he was rated in the top handful of high school prospects when he elected to attend the University of Arizona. As a freshman at Arizona in 2014–15, Johnson was voted first-team All-Pac-12, and was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, averaging 13.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals in 28.4 minutes per game.

Rated a top 10 prospect, Johnson elected to forgo his remaining years of college and entered the 2015 NBA Draft, where he was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 8th selection overall, edging out similar prospect Justise Winslow who was drafted by the Heat with the 10th pick (Devin Booker would be selected with pick 13).

Regarded as an athletic 3 & D SF prospect, the 6'6" Johnson, nicknamed Stanimal had a slow start to his career in the Motor City. He came off the bench to average 8.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 23 minutes but his shooting splits of 37.5% from the field and 30.7% from deep highlighted one of his major deficiencies which would following him throughout his career.

Hoping for improvement in Johnson's sophomore season in the association, he actually went backwards. His scoring dropped to 4.4 points per game and his shooting actually got worse, but in his third season the Johnson was made the starting SF as vets Marcus Morris & Reggie Bullock found new homes and his output returned to the level of his rookie season.

Halfway through his 4th campaign, the organisation traded Johnson to New Orleans in a 3-team trade that netted them Thon Maker from Milwaukee. Johnson. The Pelicans had decided they'd seen enough of Johnson after 18 games and decided not to extend a $4.5m qualifying offer to him, making him an unrestricted free agent.

The World Champion Toronto Raptors came knocking, offering Johnson a 2 year, $7.5m contract, but Johnson continued to struggle and spent significant time in the G League with the 905. He hit back to back buckets in the "Bubble" against the Philadelphia 76ers to win a game for the Raptors and followed it up with 23 points in his next game against Denver, the final game of the season. He played more the following season with the Raps, featuring 61 times, scoring a career high 35 points against Chicago in the third last game of the 2020-21 season.

Out of contract, Johnson signed with the Bulls, but was waived during pre-season. He subsequently signed with the Lakers G-League team, but the Bulls gave him another chance in December, signing him to a 10 day contract but Johnson was placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols and his contract expired without playing a regular season game for the Bulls. On Christmas Eve 2021, Johnson signed the first of several 10 day contracts with the Los Angeles Lakers before being signing a 2 year, $3.2m deal with them. Despite having teammates in LeBron James, Anthony Davis & Russell Westbrook, the Lakers were a mess and Johnson saw a decent amount of court time as a famous franchise spectacularly failed to make the playoffs. He played 48 games, returning 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game as he shot over 40% from the field for the first time in his career.

As it stands he has featured in 419 regular season games, averaging 6.3 points, 3.1 rebounds & 1.5 assists on shooting of 38.4% from the field and 30% from three.
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