Its June pickings for the NBA draft 2012. The Lakers recently acquired Marquette’s Darius Johnson-Odom.
Mitch Kupchak, Lakers’ general manager, raves about his purchase of Johnson-Odom from the Dallas Mavericks 55th pick for a reported $500,000.
“You’ll like this kid, you’ll like him a lot. He plays really, really hard. Ridiculously athletic. Powerful. Physical. Very, very aggressive. Competitive. He’s fun to watch and I think he’ll be a really, really good player leading into training camp.”
Johnson-Odom was, apparently, named after Magic Johnson. His middle name Earvin was inspired by Earvin “Magic” Johnson. “That’s exactly what my mom named me after…I don’t know why. She said he was her favorite player. I wouldn’t tell my dad this but I think she kind of likes him.”
“I know I can’t do the things he did…But what you can take from him is his leadership, being a player and being a great competitor. That’s what he brought to the table when he wore that purple and gold. That’s what I’m trying to do,” Johnson-Odom gushes about “Magic” Johnson.
According to the L.A. Times Johnson-Odom’s stats include “a good balance between scoring and passing.” His three seasons at Marquette, after his freshman year at Hutchinson Community College, he averaged 15.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists. With a shooting percentage of 44.4% from the field and 40.3% from three-point range. As a sophomore he was the team’s defensive player of the year.
Jay Bilas, ESPN college basketball analyst, finds Johnson-Odom “a really hard worker who goes after it.”
Johnson-Odom addresses the skepticism critics have about his game, “A lot of people don’t think I can play the point. A lot of people don’t think I have the size to play the 2…I definitely agree with them. I haven’t shown the skills to play at 1. I don’t have the height to play at 2. But I always find a way to win. I think for me, my main concern is trying to find the right fit for the team.”
Johnson-Odom will have time during the Las Vegas Summer League and training camp before being considered part of the Lakers full-time roaster.