Deyonta Davis is a 6’11” center with a 7’3” wingspan who played his college ball for Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans. Davis was a McDonald’s All-American playing for his home town team, Muskegon, Michigan. A public school man, an everyday man. I like guys that play for the school down the street.
With the tenth pick in the draft, the Bucks are looking to find a talented player that puts us closer to being a title contender in the next few years. Deyonta Davis’ game meshes well with our core trio, as he is a low usage center that could provide us with a defensive anchor. At this point, the front office is focusing on finding players that fit with our core, but we’re also investing in younger players to develop ourselves. Davis is only 19 years old and quite the athlete, double check there.
-Rim Protection: What I really like about Davis is his ability to use his long arms and athleticism to protect the rim. The guy just has a knack of getting is hand on the ball, much like Hassan Whiteside for the Heat. He has the instincts.
-Pick and Roll Defense: He shows the ability to step away from the rim and switch onto perimeter players, using his length and quickness to stunt their drive, and also make it difficult to pass over him to the roller. Most bench units rely heavily on pick and roll offense, that’s an immediate plus to our team.
-Defensive Anchor: Having a player that gives you options on defense would be a huge positive for our team. As we saw last season, without a defensive threat, our team will always be limited. Perhaps that man is John Henson, as he was injured, but he’s just failed to show he’s anything more than a 20 minute a game player so far. That’s fine, he plays his role well. We need another piece.
-Soft Touch: Deyonta shows some soft touch on the offensive end. He scores exclusively with his right hand, aside from exciting powerful dunks. A soft touch is a great building block for a young center. You can teach form, you can make a guy shoot it until their hands get so dirty the janitor goes home to his wife with bad news, but you can’t teach a guy soft touch. Being able to step out for a midrange jumper makes Davis incredibly valuable to any team. He shot 60% from the free throw line at Michigan State, hopefully he can improve on that, but even at 60% he’s playable in key situations.
-Motor: Davis struggles with the mental side of the game. It’s nothing that can’t be addressed, as I think he has enthusiasm for the game, but he does tend to mentally slide in and out of games. There were times at MSU were Davis would get sealed off in the post by an inferior player, with less size and strength, but more will in the moment.
-Lack of Strength: He won’t be able to hold his own at his current stature in the NBA his rookie season. Too many posts in the league will be able to seal him off in the post and attack. He’ll have to depend a lot on his speed gunning it up the floor for the beginning of his career. The league is heading towards a pace that favors the quicker post player, but come playoff time, being moved out of the play by a stronger player in crunch time is a concern.
-Decision Making: He may have the blocking instinct of Hassan Whiteside, but with it comes the inane aggressiveness of Hassan. Deyonta is going to rack up the fouls early on in his career, potentially limiting him to a rotation center role
-Post Moves: Another issue with his game is a lack of post-game arsenal. He has a right hook, but beyond that his arsenal currently consists of some sort of jackknife move, throw his arms into the defenders and sling that baby off the backboard. Rarely does he draw a foul or make a bucket attempting this ‘move’.
Rookie Year for Milwaukee:
Should the Bucks draft Deyonta Davis, we can expect a talented rotation center to play anywhere from 10-20 minutes a game, playing in the mold of the Deandre Jordan role as a rim protector/dunker. Immediately, I’d be very interested to see him share the floor with Jabari. If he can hide some of Parker’s defensive flaws, he’s worth a ton of money to us. The best thing the rookie could do is prove his worth alongside our frontcourt. The big man’s offensive game is better suited in the NBA, as he thrives in the open floor when he’s allowed to bee-line to the rim. Willey Cauley-Stein of the Sacramento Kings showed a more advanced offensive game than anyone anticipated last season, because he had more room to maneuver once he hit the league. A soft touch around the rim mixed with a rangy body allows him to stop on a dime, exaggerate a pump fake, and twist towards the rim as his defender flies by him, for the uncontested lay-in. That move worked again and again for WCS last season, and it’s something that Deyonta could make a wave with during his own rookie campaign. I could see Davis having a stand out rookie year, but realistically he’ll be a rotation center playing behind Henson. With his documented mental issues, I suspect we’ll see flashes of lottery talent mixed in with Ben McLemore ‘just happy to be here’ syndrome. He’ll be able to athletically affect the game by blocking shots, getting in passing lanes, and the occasional oop from Giannis. That’s all we’d need to see coming from a guy with his gifts to be excited for his future.
Future for Milwaukee:
Deyonta Davis is projected in the top-10 because of his high potential. Standing at 6’11” with a 7’3” wingspan, with the athleticism to switch onto perimeter players, Davis has all the tools necessary to be a defensive anchor for our team. Deyonta Davis has everything it takes to grow in Milwaukee. He fits with the team as a position of need, and has all the individual attributes to become a legitimate threat in the coming years. An improved midrange jumper would really open up the starting line-up’s offensive attack. Giannis and Jabari get a free shot at the rim, as Deyonta kicks to the short corner to open up space, then dives at the rim trying to get the offensive board. Having a mobile, low usage center, is exactly what this team needs going forward. He should develop into a great pick and roll player, being able to quickly set a screen above the three point line and dive into the lane receiving the ball for either a short push shot or a shot at the rim. He may not be a star, but he’s a great plug in piece for the Bucks.
Once he settles down mentally, he should certainly be on the same tier as Steven Adams and Bismack Biyombo. Come playoff time, when a defensive anchor becomes an obvious difference maker, he could be a player that helps push us deeper and deeper into the playoffs. Blocking shots. Blocking Hearts. Deyonta Davis would grow really green and pretty in Milwaukee.