Atlanta Hawks: Pro comparisons for Jalen Johnson

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

Atlanta Hawks player comparison No. 1) Larry Nance jr.

Larry Nance jr came into the league as a raw rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was originally selected with the 27th pick in the 2015 NBA draft before playing 63 games in his rookie year, averaging 5.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in 20.1 minutes per game.

His game was not suited to a structured environment in the early part of his career. He had no 3-point shot to speak of, relying on putbacks, and other shots close to the rim. For his first three seasons in the league, he shot 90 percent or greater of his shots from inside the arc.

Now that he has been in the league for a while now, Nance has developed a 3-point shot and is a much better player in the half-court setting. He is even getting the ball into better spots for his teammates, achieving a career-high 3.1 assists per game this season.

This is where Johnson is going to have the advantage over Nance. His ball-handling and passing are already at a higher level than the Ohio product. If coach Nate McMillan can mold him into a half-court player as well as a transition specialist then the Hawks will see him surpass Nance very early in his career.