The Washington Wizards snagged guard Johnny Davis with the 10th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, hoping he could provide a spark alongside Bradley Beal and become an integral player moving forward. Instead, he might struggle to even see the court as a rookie.
Davis, a consensus first-team All-American and the Big Ten Player of the Year this past season at Wisconsin, entered the pre-draft process with plenty of hype. Washington wasted little time selecting him with its first-round pick and planned to provide him with ample opportunities to prove himself in the NBA Summer League.
- Johnny Davis college stats: 19.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 2.1 APG, 30.6% 3PT
It’s been all downhill since the 20-year-old stepped foot on the court. He struggled against his peers this summer, drawing concerns from the outside about whether or not he was ready to play in the NBA. The Wizards downplayed any worries, but outside observers believed Davis would be a non-factor in the upcoming season.
There were a variety of red flags when it came to the 6-foot-5 wing. Scouts believed he was only a “good college athlete” and many doubted if he could ever develop a perimeter game. It further cast doubt upon Davis’ future role, with few in the NBA believing he could play point guard and the two-guard position occupied in Washington by Beal.
As the NBA preseason gets underway, Washington is providing glimpses into what lineups it will deploy at the start of the regular season. While Davis will see more time during the exhibition contests in early October, it might be the last time he gets meaningful minutes for a while.
Josh Robbins of The Athletic projected the Wizards’ rotation and minutes distribution for the upcoming season. While injuries are subject to change things, the NBA insider doesn’t have Davis factoring into the 10-man rotation as of now.
Davis was never viewed as a draft prospect with immense long-term upside. Even after a breakout season at Wisconsin, there were doubts surrounding his ability to ever become a well-rounded scorer and his lack of elite athleticism paired with the inability to be a lead guard caps his potential.
If Davis can’t see the court early in his rookie season, it will make it even harder for him to develop and iron out his issues. It would also mean that Washington’s last two first-round picks – Corey Kispert, 15th pick in 2021 NBA Draft – are non-factors in the upcoming season for a team that will likely fare no better than an appearance in the Play-In Tournament.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.