Michigan State Spartans forward Deyonta Davis became an NBA player Thursday night. He did so as the Boston Celtics took him with the 31st-overall pick. However, Davis was then sent to Memphis for a future draft pick, so he ends up a member of the Grizzlies.
He may not have been in East Lansing for very long, but Tom Izzo was in New York City to hear the freshman’s name called by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. It took longer than anticipated to happen, but Davis still saw his NBA dreams made a reality.
The 6’10” big man averaged just under 19 minutes a game while he was at Michigan State. In that time he was able to pick up averages of 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game in his 35 game freshman year. He was typically playing down low, not really getting too many shots in as he only averaged 5.7 field goal attempts per game.
However, in more recent workouts he has been showing off some range and that has had a lasting effect on draft scouts as the look of a 6’10” rim protector who can also stretch the floor is even more intriguing in the evolving NBA. The more teams go to small ball, the more valuable Davis could be if he is able to handle the ball and shoot from mid range.
Davis has quick feet and an ability to play well off the glass. Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale and the coaching staff will look for help on defense while helping the young Davis acclimate to the speed and size of the NBA game.