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Rockets get guard help, draft Nick Johnson in second round

Houston Rockets

Rockets get guard help, draft Nick Johnson in second round

The Rockets grab some help in the backcourt, selecting Arizona guard Nick Johnson with the 42nd pick of the draft.

Nick Johnson Houston Rockets

The Rockets got some guard help in the draft Thursday night, taking Arizona’s Nick Johnson in the second round (#42 overall).

“It’s a great organization. They’re a playoff team and have a great group of guys,” said Johnson after being taken by the Rockets. “I’m excited. I’m speechless.”

The Rockets place a premium on three-point shooting and defense and Johnson can provide some of both. An undersized two at just 6-foot-3, Johnson played three seasons with the Wildcats, averaging 16.3 points a game as a junior in 2013-14. He is a solid shooter, hitting about 36% from three-point range over his college career, but he knocked down 39.3% from distance in his sophomore season.

He’s a good athlete with explosive leaping ability, testing out with a near-42″ vertical leap at the NBA combine.

He gives tremendous effort defensively, and he expressed his excitement to be able to play with Patrick Beverley.

“The one person I’m going to really latch onto is Beverley,” said Johnson. “I think we have a lot of similarities. I think his grit and grind that he really plays with is something I have in my game. I think I can come in from Day One and be that person that he’s being, the defensive player, the energy guy.

Johnson considers himself a “combo guard,” able to play the one and two, and he’s ready to get going.

“I’m going to come in, listen, work hard and do whatever I can,” said Johnson.

Here are some Nick Johnson highlights:

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