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It's time to overreact about Stanley Johnson

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John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Listen, I'm all for a good overreaction.

One bad week in fantasy football, I'll panic trade Julio Jones. One bad Michigan State football season and after an unprecedented run of success, I'll be clamoring to clean house and get new O and D Coordinators.

So after five games so far this season, I'm really FREAKING OUT about Stanley Johnson.

And it's not even because he's the ninth man in the rotation, or that he's shooting 2-for-16 on the season. It's because I look at Miami and Phoenix, who have legitimate studs that were taken after Stanley in the 2015 Draft. Justise Winslow is already off to a 13-5-5 start, and Devin Booker (sick first name) is putting up 15 points per game despite shooting an uncharacteristically low 24% from the arc.

I know it's not fair (or particularly healthy) to look at players drafted behind your guys and compare them. Stanley was drafted no. 7 overall, and that's not his fault. You should really only judge solely off his own development with the team. But it's so hard not to because I was genuinely DEVASTED when the Pistons passed on Winslow last year, as a lot of fans were. But equally as crushing was not taking Booker, because I figured there's no way Winslow would fall to us, so I really had my heart set on him.

Now, I can assure you that this isn't a revisionist fan's history. (I even predicted Stanley would struggle in the DBB on 3).

I've been wrong so many times about these things that I probably shouldn't even be allowed to have opinions. I threw a fit when we took KCP over Trey Burke. I really thought Jimmer Fredette would have been a better fit over Brandon Knight. I even have multiple witnesses that heard me say in 2009 "you know, the Lions might be better off drafting Aaron Curry over Matt Stafford and waiting until next year on Sam Bradford." The lesson, as almost always, is I have no business being in charge of a front office.

So, really, I think I need to heed my own advice and stop judging Stanley against the rest of the draft class. I know it's super early to tell (he's only 20, after all), but maybe he's just not destined to be a big-time scorer like Booker or Winslow. Stan Van Gundy's quote from Rod Beard of the Detroit News doesn't make me feel confident about it.

"Right now, Stanley isn't a primary scorer — he's not. And playing like that simply leads him into low-percentage shots and turnovers, so he needs to base his game on different things."


Again, it should be reiterated that Stanley is young, raw, athletic and could be perfectly capable of developing an offensive game. It's not unheard of for guys like this to come out of college with limited offensive capabilities and really turn into all-around threats. Let's pray to Kawhi Leonard that happens.

I love the fact that Stanley wanted to be in Detroit from the get-go. And love that he's fully-embraced the defensive side of the ball and taking on whatever role the team needs. Those are things you look for in a lottery pick. And with his work ethic, attitude and ability to play within himself, I know he'll have some level off success with the Pistons. But maybe it's time to temper expectations and realize he may be more of a Tony Allen than a Jimmy Butler.

But if I'm wrong about Stanley, and he turns into a multiple-time all-star, just remember this is all just an overreaction.

OK, phew, good. I'm glad I worked through that. I feel much better.