Davis in 2015
|No. 21 – Memphis Grizzlies|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
December 2, 1996 |
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)|
|Listed weight||237 lb (108 kg)|
|High school||Muskegon (Muskegon, Michigan)|
|College||Michigan State (2015–2016)|
|NBA draft||2016 / Round: 2 / Pick: 31st overall|
|Selected by the Boston Celtics|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Deyonta Davis (born December 2, 1996) is an American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He won the Mr. Basketball of Michigan in 2015 and appeared in the McDonald's All-American Boys Game the same year. He played one season of college basketball for the Michigan State Spartans before being drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 31st overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft.
Davis attended Muskegon High School in Muskegon, Michigan. In his final season, he recorded 4 points and 12 rebounds in the state regional finals, as Muskegon escaped Hudsonville in quadruple-overtime. He played his final game for the Big Reds on March 24, 2015, in a 52-75 quarterfinals loss to Everett High School. He contributed 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 blocks. It was played only three miles from the Michigan State University campus. Davis said after the loss, "It was very important [to help my team advance]. We came out ready to play, but the game just didn't go our way." The game was attended by MSU assistant basketball coach Dwayne Stephens, who helped recruit him to his team. Davis also got the chance to meet Spartans players before competing. As Muskegon's star left his team, head coach Keith Guy said, "The future is bright. Two games don't define his career."
By the end of the season, Davis was named Mr. Basketball of Michigan for 2015. In the balloting, he earned a total of 5,223 points. Arthur Hill's Eric Davis and Everett's Trevor Manuel finished after him, getting 3,757 and 2,837 points respectively. The award was won by two straight players from Muskegon High School, Deshaun Thrower winning in 2014. Big Red coach Guy complemented his team, saying, "To have another kid win it for the second consecutive year, it shows how far our program has come the last three years." Davis was given his personal Mr. Basketball trophy between the quarters of the Michigan state title game, in which Saginaw's Arthur Hill played against Detroit's Western International. He said in disappointment, "I'd much rather be on the floor playing right now."
On April 1, 2015, Davis competed in the 2015 McDonald's All-American Boys Game, playing for the West team. He played alongside the likes of Stephen Zimmerman and Jalen Brunson and against Diamond Stone and Cheick Diallo. Davis finished the game with 6 points and 9 rebounds, leading his team in the latter category. In January, when he was named to the game, Bank Hoops scout Steve Bell said, "This is huge for West Michigan." The forward was the first player from that region to appear at the stage since Matt Steigenga in 1988.
Davis played one season at Michigan State, averaging 7.5 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game, and 1.6 blocks per game. Davis started 16 of the final 17 games of the season for the Spartans. Davis was a key part to Michigan States record setting start to the season, Big Ten Tournament Championship, and MSU's 2nd overall final rank in the AP Poll. He set the school freshman record with 64 blocked shots, second-most in a single season in program history.
With the good season under his belt, Davis declared for the draft on April 12, 2016. Coach Tom Izzo said the following on the decision to leave early, "As a coach, my job is to help my players grow both on and off the basketball court ... [T]he real thrill as a coach is getting to see my players live their dreams. I look forward to following Deyonta's development and career in the NBA for years to come."
Davis was quoted as saying "It was a tough decision, but after talking to my family and coaches, I felt it was the right decision and one I'm fully committed to. ... I will always be a Spartan and look forward to coming back to campus like so many other pros do now." Davis and teammate Denzel Valentine were selected to attend the 2016 NBA Combine. Davis hired Bill Duffy as his agent.
Jonathan Givony from DraftExpress had the following to say on Davis: "Although he doesn't produce eye-popping numbers, his ability to switch on screens and stay in front of players big and small has been huge for the Spartans, especially late in games. ... Casual fans should try and get to know him better as the Tournament moves on, provided Michigan State is able to advance, as there's a pretty good chance the NBA will be calling for him when the season is over."
While Davis was consistently labelled as a lottery selection all the way until the day of the draft, he was chosen by the Boston Celtics with the 31st overall pick. He therefore became the first green room invitee to not hear his name get called in the first round since Maciej Lampe in 2003's NBA draft. Davis' rights were later traded to the Memphis Grizzlies on draft night.
On July 12, 2016, Davis signed a fully guaranteed three-year, $4-million contract with the Memphis Grizzlies. The deal marked the richest guaranteed salary for an American-born second-round pick in NBA history. On December 15, 2016, he was ruled out for six to eight weeks with a torn plantar fascia in his left foot. During his rookie season, Davis received multiple assignments to the Iowa Energy, the Grizzlies' D-League affiliate.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
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