Former MSU big man Deyonta Davis discusses entering the NBA draft at the combine in Chicago on May 12, 2016; video by Mark Snyder/DFP Videolicious
CHICAGO – This was always Deyonta Davis’ vision.
The big man from Muskegon went to Michigan State last year, planning on leaving for the NBA after one season and he let MSU coach Tom Izzo know it.
“I always kept in my mind that I could be a one-and-done,” David said today at the NBA Draft combine at the Quest Multisport facility in Chicago. “It was something I set for myself, me and Tom Izzo.”
Davis said the pair had a conversation before his freshman year began last fall, intending to prove in one year he was worthy of being an NBA draft pick this summer.
He said he spoke to his Muskegon High School coach and Izzo during the decision-making process but really it was decided in that preseason declaration to Izzo.
“And I achieved it,” Davis said. “It was something I had on my mind throughout the season.”
Davis averaged 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game in his lone season with the Spartans, yet those are not the measures that predict his draft stock and he knows it.
Measured 6-foot-10½ in shoes, with a 9-1/2 foot standing reach – tied for the third-best among those at the combine – Davis has the attributes of an NBA body. At 237.2 pounds, he expects there’s far more to show teams than he has previously.
“I can shoot the three, but they didn’t give me the chance to show it,” said Davis, who is not working out at the combine, common for likely lottery picks. “But we’re working on my ball-handling.”
Davis, projected at the No. 11 overall pick in the latest Draftexpress.com mock draft, had talked to Atlanta, Boston, Utah and Milwaukee and thought he would meet with 10 teams in total.
Though he was nervous in his first interview — with the Hawks — he said he progressed and got more comfortable as he went on, a more willing speaker than often is publicly.
The message to the teams is simple.
“I’m a kid, I want to play basketball and hopefully stay in the league for a long time and work for my second contract,” said Davis, who is working out in Santa Barbara, Calif., to prepare for team workouts. “They want to know what motivates me. What I’m thinking about who to trust and who not to trust around me. How close my circle is.”