NBA Draft 2021: Can Johnny Juzang Become the UCLA Bruins’ First Lottery Pick Since Lonzo Ball?

Published 04/06/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Mar 30, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Johnny Juzang (3) celebrates after defeating the Michigan Wolverines in the Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The March Madness tournament has finally ended. So all eyes will be on how many of those players declare for the NBA Draft. A lot of players had great regular season campaigns, while a few stole the how with their March Madness performances. UCLA Bruins’ star Johnny Juzang is part of the latter.

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There were multiple upsets and Cinderella runs in the 2021 NCAA tournament. But the best one was arguably the Bruins‘ run. Despite being a #11 seed, they made it all the way into the Final Four. And a lot of the credit goes to Juzang, who was too hot to handle for the opposition teams.

In 27 games this season, Juzang averaged 16 points and 4.1 rebounds, while shooting 35% from three. Although those aren’t incredible numbers, his displays in the tournament were ridiculous. In four of their six games in the tournament, Juzang scored over 20 points. And in the most important game of his career, he scored 29 points off 12-18 shooting against Gonzaga.

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Apr 3, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Johnny Juzang (3) shoots over Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Drew Timme (2) during the second half in the national semifinals of the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Those performances left basketball fans impressed, and they are interested to see if he will stay or take his talents to the NBA.

Have Johnny Juzang’s performances been good enough to make him a lottery pick in the 2021 NBA Draft?

Before the tournament, there were zero discussions about where Juzang would go in the draft. But after his recent performances, this is now a hot topic.

The 6’6 sophomore is a capable wing scorer who can play at the 2 and the 3. He isn’t the most gifted athlete, however, he is a talented scorer. Juzang can get buckets from anywhere on the court. He can make deep threes, convert tough layups, pull off floaters, and also bury a midrange over the defender.

His versatile scoring promises to be an asset for any team in the NBA. He turned 20 just last month, so he is a promising player with a lot of potential.

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Juzang’s major weakness is his defense. That is one area he really needs to work on if he wants to stay in the NBA. If he can add passing to his game along with defense, Juzang will be a superb two-way wing player for any rotation.

Despite all the hype, he is likely to be a late first-rounder, and there is also a chance he falls to the second round. But whichever team picks up him that late will get a steal, and a solid piece for the future.

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Mar 30, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Johnny Juzang (3) celebrates after defeating the Michigan Wolverines in the Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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Aaron Mathew

1469 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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