A member of the SEC All-Freshman team and a former top 10 recruit, JD Davison was somewhat of a misfit on an Alabama team filled with guards. On the year, Davison averaged 8.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1 SPG, and 3 TOPG on shooting splits of 46/30/73. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: JD Davison
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’6.5/8’3.5
Hand size: 9.5
Pre-Draft team: Alabama
Tools: Athleticism, drive & kick
- Quick feet defensively
- Quick change of direction
- Explosive athlete with a quick first step
- Good passer and knows how to exploits defenses
- Good vision
- Thrives at passing out of drives
- Capable off-ball defender
- Upside as a spot-up shooter
- Box-y jump shot
- Follow-through needs to be more consistent on jumpers
- Decision making needs to be more composed and thought out
- Needs to reduce turnovers
- Picks the ball up too much on the 3 point line as the ball-handler
- Must get better throwing harder, quicker passes in traffic
- Needs to get stronger
- Flat/line drive floater
JD Davison is an athletic guard that will see a role as a playmaker and slasher in the NBA early on in his career. His frame is less than desirable for an undersized guard, which will challenge his success as a defender and a finisher at the rim, an area Davison thrived in at Alabama.
As a defender, Davison has some habits to improve on that most freshmen have, mostly revolving around decision making and ball-watching. However, when engaged, his off-ball defense is satisfactory, knowing who to cover for in rotations, and knowing when to cover. Of course, defensive consistency can be an issue, as it is for most players his age that are not defense-first prospects. The main concern defensively for Davison that may limit him the most, however, is his on-ball defense. He can get swallowed in screens due to his size, and his short wingspan makes contesting shots, especially against taller players, difficult.
As a playmaker, Davison is great at using his slashing as a weapon to find open teammates, particularly shooters. His first step draws help-defenders off their man, which can leave open teammates for Davison to punish the defenses with. While he knows how to manipulate defenses with his passing, Davison must improve his tendencies as a passer to reduce turnovers, such as jump passes. Teams may be alerted that seeing through defenses and above defenders can be an issue due to his reliance on jump passes. Davison has good vision and feel for where his teammates are on the floor, so using more fundamental passes to get the ball delivered accurately could be a big development for him.
As a scorer, Davison relies heavily on scoring near or at the rim off of his quick first step. Shooting will be his biggest swing skill, as he was wildly inconsistent from 3 all season, and only has a mediocre free throw percentage. Davison will need to get better as an off the dribble shooter, but a more realistic area for improvement is spot up shooting. Davison’s catch & shoot jumper is more fluid than his shooting off the dribble due to the speed of getting into the shooting motion, so there is hope for Davison’s catch and shoot to develop. His low release may limit him in shooting over defenders, however.
Look for Davison to go likely in the later half of the draft. He will need the right team to help him iron out his development as he matures in a low-risk environment. Some good fits for him include: Washington, Toronto, and the LA Clippers.
Similar to: Dennis Smith Jr, Robert Pack, Ky Bowman
Projected draft range: 27-50
Expected role: Athletic point guard that gets to the rim and line at a high level while creating for others.
Unplayable if: Turnovers stay high while jump shooting and defense don’t develop.
Exceeds expectations if: Jump shooting comes along, and he can shoot both off the dribble and spotting up.