2010 NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Ed Davis

Contributor's Note, by rook6980:
This is the ninth installment of a series of regular postings on draft prospects.  This series will take a look at the top draft prospects for the 2010 NBA Draft in June. The plan is to have one or two a week, leading up to a flurry of activity the week of the draft. My DVR is crammed full of college games, and I'm watching and writing as fast as I can (between Wizards games).

We've looked that the very top prospects, i.e. all the guys that most Mock Drafts expect will be taken in the top few (4-5) picks. I assume the Wizards will have their first First Round pick this June. I was going to skip the next level of guys, and do assessments of the lower end of the first round, where the Wizards have a second First round pick they got from Cleveland (probably #30) - - but then I thought, hey sometimes these guys slip. We saw some terrific players slip from the their expected high or mid-first round slots in last year's draft (Darren Collison, DeJuan Blair, Chase Budinger). I believe some very good talent may slip to the Wizards at pick #30 and/or #34. So I'm not going to skip anyone. Let's hope that Ernie Grunfeld (or whoever is the GM at the time of the Draft) doesn't skip past another DeJuan Blair or Chase Budinger.

Ed Davis

21 years old
6'10"; 225 lbs.
North Carolina, Sophomore

Ed Davis is the son of former Virginia Union star and NBA player Terry Davis. Terry played 10 seasons (1989-2001) in the NBA with the Heat, Mavericks, Nuggets and your Washington Wizards. You may remember that Terry, along with Ben Wallace and Tim Legler, were part of the famous (or more properly, infamous) Ike Austin trade. Terry Davis was the first player to score a basket at the MCI Center.

Ed Davis is a smooth left hander who inherited some of his father's workman-like approach to defending and rebounding. Last season, Davis had Ty Lawson (one of the best PG's in the NCAA) passing him the ball. This season, Davis' offensive game has suffered without a that good point guard to get him the ball in his sweet spots.

He was widely projected to be a potential top-5 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, but returned to North Carolina for his sophomore year. Davis fractured his wrist and missed the last 11 games this year, and missed the entire NIT, but he still looks like a lock for the lottery. Assuming there are no long term issues with his wrist, I don't think it will hurt his stock much. I expect he'll declare for the draft; as turning down a chance at getting drafted in the lottery two years in a row would be foolish.


Ed Davis has the ideal size, the wingspan (way over 7-feet), mobility and agility for today's finesse NBA power forward. He has an outstanding frame and should be able to add another 20-25 pounds. At 6'10", he runs the floor extremely well and has adequate quickness for a post player. His motor runs on high for the entire game and he has a tremendous amount of upside. He's still a very raw prospect, and really needs to add strength before he'll be effective in the NBA.

Offensively, Davis remains an unfinished product, mostly limited to finishing plays around the rim. Being left-handed is a definite advantage, and he has a very good left-handed jump hook shot. Even with his limitations, he's been a very efficient scorer - sporting a 61% true shooting percentage. He's got very good footwork in the post and is explosive close to the rim, but he lacks any advanced post moves. He does have a very nice drop step, utilizing his excellent foot work, where he pins his opponent and spins to the rim. His high activity level helps on the offensive end as he moves really well without the ball, often losing his man for an ally-oop finish or on back-door cuts. His lack of strength causes problems when he tries to finish through contact, and he generally cannot create his own shot.

Davis' ball handling skills are almost non-existant. He can take one or two straight line dribbles to the basket, but if he's required to turn, pivot, or change direction in any way, it usually results in a turn over. Since he doesn't have much of a mid-range jump shot, opponents rarely give him the opportunity to drive.

I'm not even sure Davis has much of a jump shot, since I can't recall more than a handful of times he's shot one in his career at North Carolina. When he does shoot from the outside (once every 4 or 5 games ?), he doesn't look comfortable. However, his free-throw mechanics look sound, with good balance, a high release point and good arc on the shot. He improved his FT percentage from 57% his freshman year to a not so terrible 66% his Sophomore year; indicating that Davis has at least the potential for a mid-range game.

On defense, Davis shows a rare combination of great physical tools and sound fundamentals. Although he can be moved around by heavier and stronger players, he's still able to block and change shots around the basket due to his great length. Adding weight and strength will greatly improve his post defense. He moves his feet extremely well in one-on-one situations, and is effective moving laterally. He rarely reaches, instead relying on moving his feet to stay in the correct defensive position. He's an elite shot blocker due to his superb timing, length and his explosive leaping ability (4.0 blocks per 40 minutes), and he rarely goes for fakes, seemingly knowing exactly when to stay on the ground and when to jump. He's mobile enough and agile enough to hedge on the pick-and-roll; but seems less comfortable defending on the perimeter. His length allowes him to contest shots, but he sometimes gets caught flat footed, or out of his defensive stance when he's forced outside. I attribute it to a simple lack of experience defending on the perimeter.

Davis is a strong, hard-nosed, relentless rebounder. He hits both the offensive and defensive boards with equal tenacity; ripping down an impressive 13.6 rebounds per-40 minutes. He's quick enough and mobile enough to gather in rebounds outside his immediate area. His long arms allow him to reach higher than most opponents. He seems to be a naturally fundamental rebounder: establishing great inside position, keeping a wide stance and holding off his opponent, and using excellent timing to explode up with two hands. Again, I think he could be an absolute beast on the boards if he added some weight and strength.

STRENGTHS:

  • Excellent size, length and athleticism
  • Plays big
  • High activity level
  • Moves well without the ball
  • Mobile, agile and coordinated
  • Good passer
  • Great post footwork
  • Excellent interior defender
  • Good help defender
  • Great shot blocker
  • Impressive rebounder on both ends
  • Effective and Efficient (61% TS%) inside offensively
  • Low mistake player
  • Huge upside
WEAKNESSES:
  • Needs to add weight and strength
  • Mid-range jump shot
  • Ball Handling
  • Unable to finish with contact 
  • Perimeter defense
  • Still very raw
Everything about Ed Davis screams "potential."  He needs to add 20 pounds of muscle, and develop a consistent mid-range jump shot. If he does that, and as he gains more experience and advanced post moves - I could see him evolving into a Chris Bosh type of player. He's already good defender and and excellent rebounder and shot blocker. That should be enough to entice a team to bite in the lottery. With no offensive game to speak of yet, Davis is not ready to play a major role in the NBA; so which ever team selects him will have to be willing to wait a couple of years while he develops.

Previous Draft Profiles:

John Wall PG 6-4 195 Fr Kentucky Undecided
Evan Turner SG 6-7
217 Jr. Ohio St Undecided
Wesley Johnson SF 6-7 205 Jr. Syracuse Undecided
Derrick Favors PF 6-9 246 Fr. Ga. Tech Undecided
DeMarcus Cousins C 6-11 280 Fr. Kentucky Undecided
Al-Farouq Aminu F 6-8 218 Soph. Wake Forest Declared for the NBA Draft; signed with an agent
Cole Aldrich C 6-11 245 Jr. Kansas Declared for the NBA Draft, will hire agent
Greg Monroe C 6-10 247 Soph. Georgetown Will stay in school
Patrick Patterson F 6-8 235 Jr. Kentucky Undecided
Ed Davis F 6-10 225 Soph. North Carolina Undecided
Hassan Whiteside -Upcoming
C
7-0
235
Fr.
Marshall
Declared for the NBA Draft; will hire agent
Xavier Henry
SG
6-6
220
Fr.
Kansas
Undecided
Damion James
SF
6-7
227
Sr.
Texas
Senior - Eligible for the Draft
Ekpe Udoh
PF/C
6-10
240
Jr.
Baylor
Undecided
Stanley Robinson
SF
6-8
220
Sr.
UConn
Senior - Eligible for the Draft
James Anderson
SG
6-6
195
Jr.
Oklahoma St.
Declared for draft, has not hired agent
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