Deyonta Davis drafted by Boston Celtics
It was a late night and a long wait for Deyonta Davis. For a projected lottery pick convinced to declare because of high draft expectations, it was hard to stay positive when the Boston Celtics selected him with the first pick of the second round on what should have been a night laced with positive memories.
Upon hearing the anticipated announcement, Davis put on the Celtics (although Davis will be traded conditionally with NBA approval to the Memphis Grizzlies) team cap as the 31st overall selection, hugged his family and friends in attendance and walked up to the stage, pacing slightly abashedly following a disappointing draft outcome and an unnecessarily agonizing night for the outgoing freshman.
"It's nothing major... It's just how you come out," Davis said, who appeared to handle the situation in stride, to ESPN's Lisa Salters. "I'm just going to play with a chip on my shoulder."
Davis joined Valentine as the Spartans' first two draft picks of the night, after Valentine went 14th to the Chicago Bulls. Davis was the first MSU freshman to declare for the draft since apparent Grizzlies teammate Zach Randolph did in 2001 and followed in similar footsteps by doing so amidst serious questions about the NBA readiness.
Initially not expected to be a one-and-done player, Davis had a much larger first-year impact than was expected. Davis set the Michigan State record for blocks in a season with 64, while averaging 7.5 points per game and 5.5 rebounds in only 18.6 minutes per game. After exceeding expectations and hearing lofty draft projections, he decided to declare.
CONGRATS to Muskegon grad & MSU PF/C Deyonta Davis on being selected by the Memphis Grizzlies #31 overall! pic.twitter.com/rZzSGLclyB— Prep Hoops Michigan (@PrepHoopsMI) June 24, 2016
However, Davis, who was projected to be selected far ahead of Valentine, had to deal with the nightmarish reality of the draft-day wait, and it was he, not Valentine, who followed the Connor Cook pattern.
Davis's wait was the most unexpected part of the draft day charade. Early in the night, Tom Izzo could be seen giving console and counsel throughout the process. At one point, Davis even left the draft room momentarily because he was "told" to do so.
Michigan State's Deyonta Davis and his family have left the green room and exited the NBA draft floor area.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) June 24, 2016
Entering the NBA, Davis will be a player who receives the majority of his assignment on the defensive end. While there is space and time for his offensive game to develop, Davis will instantly assist an aging Randolph in post defense responsibilities.
Davis is also a potential-based player and might not see the floor too much in his first season. However, the Grizzlies will be hoping that Davis develops into a franchise power forward in the near future.
The Muskegon native will finalize his contract details and see his first NBA action in this year's summer league.
As long as Davis's wait was, Spartans Matt Costello and Bryn Forbes did not hear their names called in either of the two rounds. Costello, however, was picked up by the Atlanta Hawks as an undrafted free agent, while Forbes is still on the market.