Boston Celtics 2022 NBA Draft Grade For Their Lone Pick

With the 53rd pick of the 2022 NBA draft, the Boston Celtics selected Alabama point guard JD Davison. Though it was the only pick for the Celtics that year, they used it to fill a crucial need: a lack of point guard depth.

While Marcus Smart has typically started on point for them throughout the season, he’s arguably more of a shooting guard than a ball handler. Boston also has young talent at the position in Payton Pritchard and Yam Madar, but the former is a so-so shooter with some defensive gaps in his game, while the latter has yet to play any NBA minutes.

So Davison is coming to bolster that rotation of potential point guards, but did the Celtics get the right man?

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Boston Celtics 2022 NBA Draft Grades

Second round

JD Davison: B

Davison is a standout point guard from Alabama who was quickly declared for the NBA draft after the end of his freshman year. For the Crimson Tide, the 19-year-old averaged 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, despite typically playing under 30 minutes per game. Those stats were enough to earn him a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team.

However, what really makes Davison remarkable is his amazing athletic ability. At 6’3″, he’s by no means a towering guard, but he can rise to the rim with ease and move quickly with the ball.

His explosiveness really is his biggest selling point, and look no further for proof of that with this stunning poster against Auburn earlier this year:

Additionally, Davison can serve as a playmaker and passer for the Celtics, but there are still some significant question marks over his game.

First, can he improve his shot? While the former five-star recruit has a decent jumper, he shot 30% from the arc last season. In such a three-center league, this cannot continue if Davison anticipates long-term gameplay, as both Smart and Pritchard have higher three-point field goal percentages.

Second, will he be better at shooting off the line? This isn’t a difficult fix, but Davison shot just a mediocre 72.8% from the charity streak with Alabama. When he’s struggling to convert not only 3-pointers but also easy free throws, it’s hard to imagine him breaking into Boston’s rotation.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, can he reduce turnover? Despite averaging about four assists per game, Davison also averaged a whopping 2.9 turnovers. The Celtics have already been dealing with turnover issues for most of their 2021-2022 season — particularly in the playoffs — so a point guard who spits the ball almost as much as he assists is the last thing Boston needs.

Overall, Davison fills some of the Celtics’ needs as a point guard, providing them with an athletic player who is difficult to contain. Also, he is an extremely young talent who will only turn 20 at the start of the new season, so he has plenty of time to develop and grow.

Despite his potential, he has obvious flaws in his game and his penchant for losing possessions isn’t helping Boston’s revenue problem. If Davison is able to find a better 3-point shot and even out his assist-to-turnover ratio, he may be able to turn himself into an A+ draft pick for the Celtics. However, the 53rd pick is not quite there yet.

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