JD Davison starts life as a Celtic with a basic understanding. As the 53rd pick in the draft by a team that won the NBA title within two games, the 19-year-old point guard has plenty of time to develop.
And beyond a starting point guard role on the Celtics’ summer league team, starting with a Saturday game against the Bucks in Las Vegas, Davison is eagerly awaiting a chance to take something of Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brodgon and Derrick White once training camp begins next fall.
“I can say that working every day, going up against a guy like Marcus Smart, and also Malcolm is going to be a new guy here, so go ahead and just work every day, getting better and better and knowing (when) my name is coming. call it it’ll be my time,” the Celtics rookie said after Tuesday’s practice at Auerbach Center.
Asked what he can take away from Defensive Player of the Year, Davison said, “Just like his defensive IQ is way above everyone else as I can tell. I just learn the details of each player and what they do and how they play.
“Long term I would say (I’m) between point guard and combo just because I know I can pass, I can score and I can defend, so it doesn’t matter where I am, on the ball or off the ball, I’m just going to be a dog at both ends of the field.
Davison left Alabama for the draft after his first season – Brad Stevens pointed out that Davison was only a year away from graduating from high school on draft night – with the belief that NBA style would better suited to his game.
“My season in Alabama hasn’t gone as well as I wanted it to, but I think I’ve had some spurts of what I’ve shown and what I can do at the NBA level,” said he declared. “My decision was because the floor in the NBA is so wide apart for a dynamic guard like me, I think it was best for me to come out and go to the draft.”
Will Hardy, we barely knew you
After just one season as Ime Udoka’s senior assistant, Will Hardy was introduced as head coach of the Utah Jazz last week.
No one, including Celtics assistant and summer league coach Ben Sullivan, expected it to take long.
“Will and I worked together in the video room at San Antonio my very first year in the league, so I’ve known Will since I started working in the NBA,” Sullivan said. “So a high IQ, character guy, hard worker, understands offensive and defensive concepts. He has the whole package. Very amiable, sociable, well-liked, so I think he’ll do a great job. I’m really excited for him.
“Just excited, happy for Will. I mean, how could you not be? he said. “Like, having this opportunity to go do this, it’s awesome. We are all excited for him. We are all happy for him. Sad to see it go, but I don’t think what I really felt outside of excitement was what I really felt when I first heard it.
The tables have turned
Grant Williams has raised his profile among NBA referees after emerging as one of the league’s big young complainers, in fact umpiring Tuesday’s summer league scrimmage.
Perhaps in deference, none of the summer leaguers challenge their esteemed senior teammate.
“It’s good for Grant to see how tough the officiating is, so when he’s tough on them he can get a better perspective,” Sullivan said with a smile. “No one can give him such a tough time as he gives the referees.”