clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jazz get up close and personal look at possible No. 12 pick Deyonta Davis

SALT LAKE CITY — Over the past month and a half, the Utah Jazz have worked out almost 100 NBA and D-League prospects.

To the chagrin of Walt Perrin, the Utah Jazz’s vice president of player personnel and workout organizer, only a few have been players who could be selected by the team with the No. 12 pick in the June 23 NBA draft.

Because of the Jazz’s makeup — young starters at every position in place — some agents are hesitant to bring in their clients because they aren’t sure Utah would be the best fit.

The Jazz had one of those possible lottery guys in the house on Thursday morning as Michigan State forward Deyonta Davis participated in a solo workout for the organization.

It was the second workout in the Rocky Mountains in as many days for Davis, a 6-foot-10 player who left MSU after his freshman season.

“It was tough. It was very tough,” Davis admitted about working out in high altitude on back-to-back days. “But I’ve got to push through.”

Davis, who averaged 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks as a freshman, impressed the Jazz with the pushing he did.

Though he didn’t shoot a single 3-pointer in his one college season, the 2015 McDonald’s All-American also showed that his game is more versatile than he was allowed to show at Michigan State.

“Overall, I think I did great,” Davis said. “I can shoot the three.”

The Jazz wanted to see how Davis fared in a variety of shooting situations — shooting floaters, finishing around the rim, beyond the arc, from mid-range. The 19-year-old rarely shot outside of the paint because MSU’s Tom Izzo didn’t want his bigs roaming to the perimeter to shoot — even though Davis said the long ball is part of his arsenal.

“For a 1-0 (solo workout), he did well. He showed some stuff in our workout that you don’t see at Michigan State,” Perrin said. “He had a pretty good workout. He’s got a pretty good shooting touch from 18 and in, very good. He showed an ability to maybe get out to the NBA three. It’s one of the things that we liked that we saw here.”

The Jazz already have two young power forwards in starter Derrick Favors and second-year big Trey Lyles, so Davis wouldn’t necessarily fit a need for the team. But if he’s the best player available, don’t be surprised if they call the 240-pounder’s name.

With his nice size, athleticism, outside shooting potential and nose for shot-blocking, Davis will be an intriguing prospect for many teams in the mid-to-late lottery next Thursday.

Perrin said his shot at this stage of his career is better than Favors’ was. That’s an enticing bonus for teams who are looking for stretch-four athletes.

“He plays with a little more smoothness than Derrick plays with. It may look like less energetic than Derrick does it (with), but I think he does understand the game very well,” Perrin said.

“He get to spots probably a little bit easier. It doesn’t look like he gets to those spots with a lot of effort, but he’s always in the right position, especially defensively. I think Derrick is a little more energetic than he is right now.”

Davis, the 2015 Michigan Mr. Basketball and the MSU record-holder for most blocks (64) for a freshman, is a quiet and reserved young man, but he’s eagerly looking forward to making some noise in the NBA.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said, “because I worked for my dream and it’s coming close.”

The Jazz, who have less than a week to wrap up their draft prep work, will host another workout Friday for six prospects.

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com

TWITTER: DJJazzyJody