JD Davison eager to earn opportunity with Celtics in Summer League: ‘I’m going to be a dog on both ends of the court’

JD Davison had to wait a long time for draft night last month before finding out he was picked 53rd overall by the Boston Celtics. However, the Alabama product sounds excited about where he’s ended up.

“When I got that call from the Celtics,” Davison said in his introductory press conference Tuesday, “when my agent called and said the Celtics had you, it’s an organization where they win. So it was really important where I know I can come in here and get better every day and just come here and win. I was very pleased.”

Davison has been training with his new teammates in Boston since Monday before the Celtics compete in the Summer League in Las Vegas this weekend.

The 19-year-old point guard had a season of ups and downs in his only year of college at Alabama, averaging 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 33 games. He had no draft workout or communication with Boston’s brass prior to the draft, but the team has personally observed him at practices and games several times over the year.

“It was really about them coming to Alabama to watch me practice a few times,” he said. “And I just fell low in the draft so it really went like that going 53rd and picking me up.”

Davison will be in contention for a spot on the 15-man roster or a two-way contract spot, depending on how quickly his game transfers from the Summer League to the NBA level. The former five-star recruit thinks the NBA game might be a better fit for him than college.

“My season in Alabama didn’t go as well as I wanted,” he admitted. “But I think I’ve had pushes from what I’ve shown and what I can do at the NBA level. My decision was because the NBA ground is so wide for a dynamic guard like me that I think it was best for me to go out and go to the draft.

That path begins in Summer League, where Davison can show the Boston coaching staff and brass that he’s worthy of a roster spot while he grows into a championship contender.

“Really what I can do at both ends of the court,” Davison said of his goals for Las Vegas. “Just being a dog, a leader on offense, a dog on defense, just leading my boys to victory, just being that leader on the court.”

Davison must wait his turn on the regular list in a crowded situation in the Boston backcourt that includes new signing Malcolm Brogdon. Davison is keen to show he can fit in well with Boston’s defensive mentality across the board.

“Long term I would say between the point guard and the combo guard just because I know I can pass, score and defend, so it really doesn’t matter where I am, on the ball or off the ball, I just get a dog on be at either end of the square.

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