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NBA Draft decisions: Should Wizards take Bennedict Mathurin or Johnny Davis?


With the tenth overall pick within the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft, the Wizards can have to make a difficult alternative between two players at the identical position. We’re going through those decisions in a series of articles, continuing with two shooting guards who might be on the board at 10: Bennedict Mathurin of Arizona and Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis.

The case for Bennedict Mathurin

The very first thing that stands out about Mathurin is his explosive athleticism. He’s a freak athlete who went viral several times over during his two-year college profession for poster dunks, essentially the most memorable one a vicious slam against TCU within the NCAA Tournament. This guy is a highlight reel waiting to occur and, at 6-foot-6, has good size for a shooting guard, which might be his primary position at the subsequent level.

Mathurin can also be shooter. Not a terrific one, but definitely one. He shot 38.3% from 3-point range on 5.0 attempts per game in college. He made 121 threes on 316 total attempts, so he shot with efficiency and in volume. His shooting mechanics also pass the initial eye test. He has a smooth release and he has good lift on his jumper. He looks every bit the a part of an NBA player when he comes off a screen and let’s it go.

One other element of Mathurin’s game value noting is his competitive fire. He plays with a ton of energy and enthusiasm, which is on display after his rim-rattling dunks and on other plays like how he fights for rebounds against larger players within the lane. He also made considerable improvements from his freshman 12 months to his sophomore season, showing the upward trajectory whatever team drafts him will hope continues within the NBA.


What is going to determine his success at the subsequent level is how he develops as a shot creator off-the-dribble and what he becomes as a defender, as he wasn’t as consistent on that end as he was offensively in college. Teams will even must take an in depth have a look at his feel for the sport and basketball IQ, to be sure he can maximize his physical traits.

The case for Johnny Davis

While it’s Mathurin’s ceiling that makes him an intriguing prospect, Davis appears to have a really high floor. He’s only a solid, smart player who impacts the sport on each ends. On offense, he’s a gradual ball-handler with sense of timing and who has a knack for getting his defenders off balance. He operates like an expert when dissecting defenses within the halfcourt.

Man feel like Johnny Davis is such an underrated athlete. Burstier than he gets credit for, absorbs contact so well, stops on a dime, lateral agility is insane.

Wisconsin couldn’t shoot, with NBA spacing he gets to the rim more often, leaving his insane shotmaking as a plan B. pic.twitter.com/xSwto06jyo

— Brayden Todd (@BraydenBallin) June 12, 2022

On defense, he has a high motor and feel for jumping passing lanes to search out open space on the fastbreak. He’s also fairly quick at recovering even when his man gets past him off the dribble. And considered one of his best traits is his rebounding. He pulled down 8.2 boards per game last season at Wisconsin, a really high number for a guard.

Davis looks like a secure bet to have an extended and successful NBA profession. He’s probably going to translate quickly and someday soon be worthy of a rotation spot on team. He may have the option to play each at point guard and shooting guard, while Mathurin is more of a two and three. 

How good Davis might be within the NBA will depend quite a bit on how he improves as a shooter. He shot just 30.6% from three last season. He also is not overly explosive, so teams could have to judge whether he has the potential to be a star and something greater than a starter or key bench piece. That said, if you happen to’re within the Wizards’ range on the tenth overall pick, you may’t necessarily look forward to finding a star. While that will be ideal, it is enough down the board where finding a legitimate starting-caliber player could be a win.

Johnny Davis continues to impress me on defense. Incredibly quick hips here after losing a half-step on his closeout. Stays attached on the drive, skies for the block, then hustles to save lots of the ball. Incredible effort. pic.twitter.com/ENOsI6FBKi

— Kings Film Room (@SacFilmRoom) June 7, 2022

Best fit for the Wizards: Bennedict Mathurin

Davis could be a secure pick and is precisely the style of player the Wizards appear to like within the draft. And that is partly why Mathurin could be a greater fit in the event that they are selecting between the 2. The Wizards have made some solid draft picks in three straight years with Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert. But Mathurin has a better athletic ceiling than those guys and the Wizards could use more young upside on their roster.


They need athleticism on the wing, they need outside shooting and so they could use more players with the killer instinct mindset Mathurin appears to have. Whatever level of risk he would represent, the Wizards is perhaps well-served by taking a probability on a possible star with the tenth pick. Shooting would also need to be a serious consideration, given the Wizards were dead-last within the NBA in 3-pointers made last season. Pretty much as good as Davis is and might be, they’d be adding one other low-percentage shooter to their rotation and at a position where shooting is crucial.

Each Mathurin and Davis would overlap positionally with the Wizards’ best player, Bradley Beal. However the Wizards should arguably concentrate on taking the most effective player available over their short-term needs. That is all the time a sensible strategy within the NBA Draft, just have a look at the Warriors with Jordan Poole or the Blazers with Anfernee Simons.

Plus, Beal goes into his age-29 season. Mathurin, as an illustration, is nineteen happening 20. He’s nine years younger than Beal, a niche wide enough where he might be the heir apparent within the backcourt and enter his prime right as Beal is exiting his own.


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