On Thursday night, Deyonta Davis slid out of the first round but ended up getting drafted with the first pick of the second round by the Boston Celtics. The Celtics traded his rights to the Memphis Grizzlies, meaning Davis should be Memphis bound. It's an intriguing fit and if all goes well, Davis could be an impact player for the team for years to come.
While Deyonta Davis was in East Lansing, he didn't get a large opportunity to show his talent level due to a logjam in the front court for the Michigan State Spartans. However, despite that, in just over 18 minutes per game this past year, Davis showed one thing that NBA teams will always care about: potential.
In 18.6 minutes per game this past year, Davis averaged 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and most impressively 1.8 blocks. Listed at 6'10", 245 pounds, Davis is the type of long defender and rebounding presence that is needed on any basketball team. Because he was a one-and-done collegiate player, he'll be tossed into the NBA environment at an age where a lot of his physical talent still hasn't been tapped into quite yet.
Davis certainly has the potential to be a type of athletic, long shot blocker. A draw back on his aggressiveness defensively is the foul trouble he can find himself in. Again, in a sample size of 18.6 minutes, he averaged over 2 fouls per game. Not necessarily a huge number by any means, especially for a player his age. If he can get to the point where he's a very good verticality defender, he's definitely got the talent and size to be an elite rim protector.
He's an efficient finisher around the rim, shooting just under 60% this past season with the Spartans. As a freshman, of course, he's still far from polished on the post offensively, but that will come with time in the NBA game. Big men are almost always slower to develop and see success in the NBA than a perimeter player will be, for a variety of reasons ranging from just no longer being the biggest guy on the block to the direction the professional game is moving.
However, with that said, the greatest value in Davis will likely continue to be his ability to protect the rim and rebound the basketball. If he can stand up to the insane physicality of the NBA game, he should pan out and have a successful NBA career.