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The NBA’s Fitness to Play panel cleared Kansas State wing Keyontae Johnson ahead of the 2023 draft, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Johnson averaged 17.4 points and 6.8 rebounds and shot 40.5 percent from beyond the arc in 2022-23 with the Wildcats.
The fifth-year senior made just five appearances across the previous two seasons. He was reportedly diagnosed with acute myocarditis in December 2020.
Johnson announced in April he was making himself eligible for the NBA draft while keeping his options open. At the league’s predraft combine, he said his decision about whether to return to college hinged partially on whether he was medically cleared to compete at the next level.
In his most recent mock draft, Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman projected Johnson to go 42nd overall to the Washington Wizards.
“Johnson’s shooting, defensive profile and toughness should be enough to draw significant second-round interest from teams picturing a two-way role player.”
Perhaps the 6’6″ forward believes he can improve his draft stock by suiting up for Kansas State in 2023-24. But it appears his odds of getting drafted look good.
Getting the green light from the NBA’s appointed medical panel meant climbing a big hurdle, and the final outcome was no given.
Through he was eventually cleared, Jared Butler went from being a likely first-rounder in 2021 to falling into the second round due to health concerns. He had been prohibited from playing or practicing until a few weeks before the draft.
The NBA first launched is fitness-to-play panel as a response to help resolve Chris Bosh’s uncertain future after he was found to have a blood clot. The venture was intended to help reach an independent decision in the case of a serious health situation for a player.
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