The Celtics have picked plenty of raw young talent in the second round of the past two NBA drafts. That trend continued Thursday night when Boston selected Alabama guard JD Davison with the No. 53 overall pick.
The 19-year-old will have an uphill battle to secure a spot in a talented 15-man roster for Boston but Brad Stevens was keen to speak about Davison’s promise after making the selection.
“He’s a guy that we’ve been seeing all year,” Stevens said. “Very young, very explosive, that’s pretty obvious. He has the ability to color in and make games and has some things that he needs to improve on, but he has a lot of physical tools. A good competitor. And obviously, I think played in a really good program for really good coaches. And that’s why we’re excited to bring them to Boston.”
The Celtics confirmed Davison will play in the Summer League in Las Vegas next month with a host of other young players who formed the back end of Boston’s bench this year. While Davison seems more suited to a two-way contract than a roster spot given his age, the former five-star recruit has the athleticism that Boston’s scouting says makes him an intriguing development project.
“We’re in a position where we can also focus on the development of a young player,” said Stevens. “I think that’s important. We traded the last few first-round picks. We like the guys who play abroad, both Yam (Madar) and Juhann (Begarin) are guys who are constantly improving and we think a lot of them.
“And then, JD, all you have to do is turn on clips for a few minutes and you can see the benefits. So now it’s about him getting used to the NBA game. Barring anything crazy here, he won’t have any pressure to come in and meet us right away or move the needle for us right away. He will be able to compete like everyone else for minutes. At the same time, he can grow, develop and focus his attention on improvement. I think that’s really an important place for a young player. We have a really good team. He’ll be able to fire us up a bit with his speed on both ends of the floor, which I’m looking forward to.”
Davison will make his summer debut with the Celtics on July 11 in Las Vegas.