The Washington Wizards have the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...
2022 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Profile: Johnny Davis
2021/22 stats: 31 G, 19.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.7 bpg, 42.7 FG% (6.8/15.9), 30.6 3PT% (1.2/3.9), 79.1 FT% (5.0/6.3)
Player comparison: Cole Anthony, Shaun Livingston
5 things to know:
- Davis is a big, physical guard who excels at scoring in the mid-range. He has an assortment of moves to get himself open and has the ability to work from the post when guarded by smaller defenders. The shooting percentages are a concern, but it's worth noting the high volume of pull-up jumpers Davis had to take as the primary scorer in Wisconsin's offense.
- Despite his score-first role, Davis is a capable playmaker. He's adept at leveraging his scoring to create open looks for others. Whether in the post or creating off the bounce, Davis is able to find open teammates after drawing two defenders and if the defense stays home and doesn't help, he's more than happy to get a bucket. He may not be as good a playmaker as a Dyson Daniels, but he's more than capable of running an offense.
- Davis is an elite rebounder for a guard. He averaged 4.1 rebounds per game in his freshman season as a reserve, and then as a sophomore grabbed a whopping 8.2 boards per game. As more teams use switch-heavy schemes on defense, having guards who can crash the glass effectively is always valuable.
- He isn't as switchable on defense as you'd expect from a big guard, but Davis is a talented defender who plays hard at both ends of the floor at all times. He carried Wisconsin's offense last season but still managed to bring it on defense consistently.
- Davis played quarterback for La Crosse Central High School and earned first-team All-State honors as well as the Dave Krieg Award given to the most outstanding senior quarterback in the state of Wisconsin. That's not the worst skill set to have in your back pocket as a point guard in the NBA.
Fit with Wizards:
The Wizards have a glaring hole at the starting point guard position, but it's unclear whether they prefer a rookie or a veteran to fill that role. Before the end of the regular season, Wizards star Bradley Beal said the team needs bigger guards who can create, get into the paint and knock down threes.
That's Davis in a nutshell. He can break down defenses off the bounce or as a post-up option against smaller guards, has enough of a playmaking pedigree to set up his teammates and despite a 30-percent clip from deep, has shown consistent mechanics (79% from FT line) and is expected to improve his shooting numbers in a lesser role on offense than the one he had at Wisconsin.
Washington could also use a better defender at the point of attack. Too often over the last three years, the Wizards struggled to contain dribble penetration which would then put their bigs in a difficult spot. Rim protection and versatility are the most valuable defensive skills in the league right now, but if you don't have someone who can guard the ball, the rest of your scheme is vulnerable. It's a major reason why Marcus Smart (1st) and Mikal Bridges (2nd) were the top-two vote-getters in the Defensive Player of the Year race this season.
The only question, other than the Wizards' interest in Davis, will be whether he makes it to the 10th overall pick. Davis is sitting somewhere in the 7-11 range according to most mock drafts. After Davis, there's a considerable drop off in guard play with this particular draft class.
2022 NBA Draft profiles: