The 2016 NBA draft takes place June 23, where the Orlando Magic will be looking to turn the eleventh overall pick into gold as the organization continues its slow, tedious march back to relevancy. There's been much discussion in this space of what to do with the pick -- Zach Oliver says you trade it, Cory Hutson wants to keep it -- and as the draft gets closer its time to have a look at what kind of player Rob Hennigan could be adding to the roster when the clock strikes zero.
The team needs that are to be addressed in the draft are no secret -- rim protection, perimeter shooting, and playmaking ability are three areas in which the team struggled last season. It will be important for the front office to address at least one of these needs at number eleven.
With just a bit under two weeks until the suspense is over and the pick is made official, we'll be breaking down some of the potential targets for Frank Vogel and his staff. Today, we're taking a look at Michigan State big man Deyonta Davis.
The key strength for Davis is undoubtedly his body and athleticism -- every other strength he possesses is the result of a ripple effect from these pillars of his game. He stands 6'10" with an 86" wingspan, featuring the kind of length that scouts and executives drool over.
He moves his feet really well for a man his size, staying in front of any power forward he comes across and closing out on both shooters and drivers with impressive speed. He uses his ability to cover ground to change the course of games with his defense, and has been doing it since the high school level -- including a triple double featuring 10 blocks, with one to save the win.
At the 3:49 mark, the finishing sequence begins. After rebounding a missed free throw with five seconds left, the opposing team is off to the races, covering the length of the floor for a layup attempt to tie the game.
Know who else covered the length of the floor? A fella by the name of Deyonta Davis, who wastes no time slamming this ball and that poor kid's dreams into the backboard at the buzzer.
He's continued his shot blocking development at the collegiate level, and began to use his quickness to close down on help defense in a terrifying way.
He's no slouch on the boards, either, and showed a marked improvement in his ability generating second chances as his freshman season wore on. Davis looks like the kind of player that can make an immediate impact protecting the rim and on the glass, two areas that the Magic could stand to improve.
Davis is saddled with the weaknesses you'd expect a 19-year-old big man to have -- he has a limited repertoire with his back to the basket, and the moves he does possess are rudimentary at best. He uses a right-handed jump hook that is likely his best move, and the quickness with which he leaps helps him to get it off over more experienced defenders. He has very soft hands and accepts the ball in the post well -- he just needs to expand his options once he does.
His focus is a cause for concern, but not any more than it is for most teenagers entering the draft. Tom Izzo and the veteran Michigan State Spartans have set a very high bar, and at times, Davis couldn't reach the level of intensity they wanted from him.
While his raw physical tools are excellent, his frame is a bit wiry for the next level. He'll need to hit the weights and work hard with his strength & conditioning coach to avoid being bullied early in his career.
While possibly a reach at number 11, there's no question Davis is a fit on this current Magic roster. He's athletic and defensive-oriented, and would be a nice a shot blocking rim protector to play next to Nikola Vucevic. He seems to be drawing a lot of comparisons to Vogel's big man project last year in Indiana -- Myles Turner -- but I believe Turner was a bit more NBA ready with a better body for the transition to pro ball.
If Davis does wind up being the pick, he should be able to contribute immediately defensively without taking touches away from Victor Oladipo, Mario Hezonja, Aaron Gordon or Vucevic.