Jun 28, 2012 11:17 PM by Andrew Masuda
Orlando Johnson received a strange welcome to the NBA on Thursday during the NBA Draft. The all-time leading scorer in UCSB history went to the Sacramento Kings with the sixth selection of the second round and 36th overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night.
However, less than 15 minutes later, the Kings traded the rights to Johnson to the Indiana Pacers for cash. So he immediately went from a team coming off a 22-44 season to the Pacers, who finished 42-24 and made the postseason.The 6-5 shooting guard becomes the first Gaucho drafted since Brian Shaw went to the Boston Celtics late in the first round of the 1988 Draft. Shaw happens to be an assistant coach with Indiana.
Only players taken in the first round receive guaranteed two year contracts, which are based on a rookie salary scale. Second round picks are not guaranteed contracts and must first earn roster spots on teams.
Johnson set three program records during his three year career at UCSB. He finished as the program's all-time leading scorer (1,825 points), most points in a single season (674 in 2010-11) and most points in a single game (39 points). Johnson is one of two Gauchos to ever earn three-straight All-Big West Conference First Team honors and score 500 or more points three years in a row.
Johnson played for Team USA last summer at the World University Games in China and averaged 7.3 points per game.
The Seaside, California native saw his draft stock rise in the months leading up to the draft. He improved his physique and boasted a 6-11 wingspan and 39 inch vertical.
Johnson grew up a Boston Celtics fan because Larry Bird was his favorite player. He said that was one of the reasons why he wore #33 at UCSB. Recently, Bird resigned as the President of the Pacers. His last day will be in August.
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