Celtics pick JD Davison: Four things to know about Boston’s 2022 NBA Draft pick from Alabama

The Celtics were rumored to potentially get back into the first round of the 2022 NBA draft, but it was a quiet night in Boston despite some fireworks in the league. The Celtics stayed with their No. 53 overall pick, opting for former Alabama guard JD Davison.

It was the second straight season that the C’s did not have a first-round pick in the draft. They traded the No. 25 overall pick to the Spurs as part of the Derrick White deal at the close. Boston sent the number 16 to Oklahoma City in the 2021 draft as part of last summer’s Kemba Walker-Al Horford swap.

Of course, there hasn’t been too much shine for the Celtics in the draft this season. That’s natural considering they made it to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010, losing to the Warriors in six games. But the Cs have a talented young core built through the draft, with homegrown talent like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams III, Grant Williams and more.

It’s going to be an intriguing offseason nonetheless as the Celtics look to build their depth around the core. Boston President Brad Stevens will have at least some options through free agency and the trade market, although it will be interesting to see how he makes the list.

“Very young, very explosive, that’s pretty obvious,” Stevens said of Davison. “He has the ability to get in color and make plays and has some things that he needs to improve on, but he has a lot of physical tools. A good competitor.”

Next up for the C’s, in addition to free agency, is the Summer League, taking place July 7-17 in Las Vegas. This is where some of the young talent should shine and try to get some live game reps.

Here are four things you should know about Davison:

Highlight Dunks, Raw Athlete: Pull up a Davison reel and there’s a lot to like based on its highlights. The dunks and athletic plays are all there, including some scattered 3-point shots. Davison was considered one of the best athletes in the draft class, and the 6-foot-3 guard showed that at several points throughout the season. But he’s still a raw basketball player that Stevens said he’ll improve on as his career progresses.

College Career Ups and Downs: Davison certainly had moments when he shone, including a career-best 20 points against Gonzaga and a game-saving block against Houston. But there were also duds throughout the season where he looked like a freshman playing at the college level. He arrived in Alabama and envisioned being a potential first-round pick, although his stocks declined as the season progressed. But the talent is there as the Celtics hope to help the 19-year-old find some consistency in the pros.

Decorated High School Career: Davison had all the awards going to Alabama, being a McDonald’s All-American and five-star prospect. Davison was also a two-time Alabama Mr. Basketball in his final two seasons of high school ball. 247Sports ranked him the No. 13 player in the 2021 class when he selected the Crimson Tide over offers from Auburn, Michigan, Kansas, LSU and others. He probably got into college to be a one-and-done player, and that’s exactly what he did. But he fell deep in the second round to the Celtics.

Possible weaknesses: Davison’s consistency leaves a lot to be desired. He had plenty of highs in college, but his production sometimes faltered for a similarly inconsistent Tide team. Also an area of ​​concern was his outside shooting, with Davison scoring just 30.1% of his 3-pointers in his only collegiate season. Sales and decision-making were also problematic at times. His 4.3 assist average led the tide, but he tied that to 2.9 turnovers per game.

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