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Buzzworthy picks 2022: JD Davison

The Hornets could use some developmental talent at the point guard position.

2022 NBA Draft Combine Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets have LaMelo Ball, so point guard shouldn’t be a position of need for a very long time. But young depth at the position is nonexistent. The Hornets have used cheap veterans to fill out the depth behind Ball and Rozier and the point guard position with the Swarm has been manned by guys that seem pretty far away from being NBA talent. The 45th pick in the draft is a good place to change that.

JD Davison is a high upside point guard prospect that’s projected to go in the middle of the second round. He was a top 10 prospect coming out of high school, but a season off the bench at Alabama has seen his status slip a bit. Still, the talent is there, and he’d be a very intriguing flier.

Measurements

Height: 6’0.5” w/o shoes, 6’2.5” in shoes
Weight: 192 pounds
Wingspan: 6’6.5”
Standing reach: 8’3.5”
Vertical: 30” standing, 37” max

Strengths

Aggressiveness, passing vision, hair

Davison is a downhill attacker at the point guard position. He cleans up the glass very well for a player his size and is dangerous in grab and go situations.

His vertical explosiveness allows him to rise up for put back dunks and huge blocks from the weakside when he’s engaged.

A successful JD Davison gets a lot of buckets in transition and thrives on a team that plays with a lot of pace. He can attack open spaces and use his vertical pop to finish over and around defenders at the rim.

He has some impressive passing chops to go along with his open court aggressiveness. He’s unselfish on the break and creates good looks for teammates.

Davison also some potential as a pick and roll ball handler. His unselfishness shows in this area too, and he has impressive vision to make reads beyond just hitting the roll/pop man. He needs to improve his consistency, but he has shown a transient ability to pull up from three to punish teams going under, though this is something that’s going to need a lot more refining.

Weaknesses

Shooting consistency, overall consistency

Davison shot just 30.6% from three and 72.8% from the free throw line as a freshman. The shot looks good, and he had a few games with multiple 3-pointers made, so it may just be a matter of reps and confidence to get the shot to a passable level. But he hasn’t proven the shot is there, and that limits the space he’ll have to attack the rim.

The story of Davison’s lone collegiate season is full of tantalizing highlights interspersed with stretches of total ineffectiveness. He averaged 4.5 turnovers per 40 minutes and had five games with five or more turnovers. He finished his freshman season with 99 made field goals and 95 turnovers. He also has very underwhelming advanced metrics on both ends of the floor, but even more so on defense.

For as explosive as he is in the open floor, he’s more passive in the half court. He needs to learn to keep his focus and intensity up in all areas of the game.

Overview

JD Davison is a ball of clay that some team is going look at and think they can mold into an NBA rotation player. His highlights show why he was such a highly regarded player coming out of high school. There are moments where he shows the skills you want a lead guard to have—explosiveness, passing ability, and inside-out scoring. However, there are even more moments where he’s just not a good player. With the Hornets guard rotation pretty set, a late flier on a talented but flawed prospect could be very appealing.