Magicians take Johnny Davis with the 10th pick for the NBA Draft

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Tommy Shepard, president and general manager of the Washington Wizards, had only three qualities earlier this week to describe the type of player his team was looking for in the NBA draft: aggressive, assertive, and relentless. Sheppard was clear that player attitude is less important than general talent and an overall mindset.

So, with Thursday’s 10th pick, Washington may have had a player who would both provide a region in need and bring the qualities that Sheppard sought. The Wizards chose Johnny Davis, the 6-foot-5, 194-pound goalkeeper whom Sheppard and coach Wes Unseld Jr. considers a high-IQ top scorer with the desire to play defense.

Davis led Wisconsin with 19.7 points and 8.7 rebounds as a sophomore last season and was named Player of the Year. He’s mostly played as a junior striker for the Badgers, but Sheppard is so confident in both Davis’ grip and his basketball knowledge that he believes the 20-year-old can switch between base guard and shooting guard.

“On the ground, he understands the game very well. He is quick to learn – we couldn’t find a coach who could compliment him enough on his basketball IQ, his personality, and his athletic life,” Sheppard said. “I think he’s a passerby – I’ll keep saying he’s a great passer. He didn’t do much in college, so I subconsciously try to encourage him to pass a little more. But I think he’ll be able to score at different levels. I think he’s excellent.”

Davis grew up in Wisconsin playing basketball alongside his twin brother on a playground that his parents built in their backyard. There, the twins fought countless fights that made Davis turn into a fierce competitor with a penchant for appearing in the Badgers’ big matches. He had 37 points, 14 rebounds to a number then. 3 Bordeaux in January and a 30-point blast against no. 12 Houston in November that initially put him on the map for the NBA scouts.

“I feel like you can’t really understand unless you have a twin brother or a twin sister, you just want to be better than the other,” Davis said on a conference call.

Regardless of the scoring, Unseld is very excited to see how Davis is defending. The coach was impressed by Davis’ ability to play defensively on demand during the 20-year-old’s interview process with the Wizards — Davis worked with the team on June 2.

“The fact that he embraces that aspect is such an important piece — giving yourself a chance. A guy who does his homework, he’s tactically disciplined in what we’re trying to achieve,” Unselde said. But I think he will choose [defense] arrive quickly. If you have these two intangibles, you are really giving yourself a chance to be an elite in this field.”

Bradley Bell rehabilitates his wrist and a local basketball court

Although Sheppard sees Davis as a potential ballplayer, his choice will likely have no bearing on Washington’s quest for a lasting solution at the lookout. The Wizards won’t want to outsource point guard duties to a novice, and Sheppard said Thursday that Washington would be happy to have three players on the field at once.

The general manager might also be explaining the fact that while his and Unseld’s perfect version of the point guard is a traditional floor general that prioritizes organizing offense and passing points, traditional point guards are increasingly rare.

“We’ll try to get three players with the ball in there, we’ll try to keep it wide open when you have it [Kristaps Porzingis] And the [Bradley Beal]Capable scorers. Put [Kyle Kuzma] Abroad, [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope] There, now you have Johnny, another guy who can fill her in for a bit. “I think it’s exciting to do that,” Sheppard said. “fact that [Davis] It’s kind of a good rebuilding that reinforces some of the other things we’ve come to expect from him. He was excited. On the night of enlistment, not everyone is defeated, everyone is excited. We honestly. “

Washington chose 18-year-old Yannick Nzoza, a 6-foot-11 center from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as 54th.

Wizards can now go to the top item on their to-do list: Re-Sign Beal. The goalkeeper, who turns 29 on Tuesday, is entitled to sign a five-year contract in the range of about $250 million next month following a season shortened by a left wrist injury.

Sheppard praised Bell as a worthy hub of excellence at a news conference on Monday and said he expects to be in good shape by the time Washington opens its training camp in September. The Wizards will then head to Japan to play a pair of pre-season games.

“I just look at the player, and I know he’s someone you can build your franchise around,” Sheppard said. “I know he’s going to have a great season coming up. Where is he now [in his rehab] Not where he will be in a month, and in a couple of months, as we prepare to go to Japan, I think he will be in full swing in terms of his shot.”