Wizards select guard Johnny Davis with 10th overall pick

The Washington Wizards selected former Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis with the 10th overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, adding a talented scorer who shined at the collegiate level last season.

Davis, who is 6-foot-5 and excels at the mid-range, increased his scoring average from 7 to 19.7 as a sophomore. That jump helped the 20-year-old earn a Big Ten Player of the Year award and quickly move up the draft list. He was Wisconsin’s first first-round pick since 2015.

The Wizards hosted Davis for a workout earlier this month, and the combo guard told reporters he thinks Washington is a realistic option for him.

Davis joins a core led by veteran Bradley Beal, as well as young prospects Rui Hachimura, Danny Avdia and Cory Kespert.

With a crucial offseason underway, many pundits wondered ahead of Thursday what direction the Wizards would take with the 10th overall pick. For example, will Washington trade options for a seasoned point guard? Multiple pre-draft reports linked them to Indiana’s Malcolm Brogdon.

After the February deadline to trade Spencer Dinwiddie, Washington needs a new backcourt partner to pair with Bradley Beal — who could become a free agent next month but is expected to go on to sign a deal with Washington. A five-year, $250 million contract.

But the Wizards have other weaknesses beyond point guard. That’s why general manager Tommy Sheppard said earlier this week that Washington would select the best players and not worry about overlapping positions. The executive noted that his team needs more defensive “dogs” after ranking 25th in defensive rating last season.

Davis’ size could help him become a great defender at the next level. While he doesn’t consider himself a point guard, Davis has grown up in the position — meaning he can handle the ball for a while if needed.

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