Johnny Davis made it official this past week and declared for the NBA draft, also noting he’s signing with an agent, which rules out any change of mind and a return to Wisconsin.
While it of course remains to see how Davis’ professional career begins, it seems pretty certain he’ll be a lottery pick. Since the lottery began in 1985, there have been two Badgers selected in that portion of the draft, both in the top 10 -- Devin Harris (No. 5, 2004) and Frank Kaminsky (No. 9, 2015). Brad Sellers, who went No. 9 in 1986, played two years at Wisconsin before leaving for Ohio State.
Will Davis become the third Badgers player taken in the top 10 in the lottery era?
Here’s what some mock drafts from around the web are saying about the now former Wisconsin Badgers guard (note that each site has its own method for determining which team is slotted where pre-lottery):
Sam Vecenie of The Athletic ($): 10 to Pelicans. “Davis suffered an ankle injury late in the season but played through it, and as he did, his numbers fell off a bit. After a start to the season that saw him as the favorite to win the National Player of the Year award, Davis tailed off — and, without him at his highest level, so did Wisconsin. Davis averaged 17 points per game over his final 12 games, but he shot just 42 percent from the field and 22 percent from 3 in that time. His elevation, in general, looked sapped, as did his ability to stop and start. But when he was at his best, Davis was a good three-level scorer this season who also played hard on defense. His ceiling on his draft status has dropped a bit in recent months, but I’d still anticipate him going in the No. 7 to No. 17 range.”
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer: 11 to Wizards. “What the Wizards do with this pick depends largely on Bradley Beal’s future with the team. Davis isn’t a perfect fit next to Beal since they’re both score-first guards, but they can share the ball and Davis brings hard-nosed defense. If Beal is out of Washington, this pick makes even more sense as Beal's replacement.”
Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report: 9 to Pelicans.
Bryan Kalbrosky of For The Win: 8 to Pacers. “Let’s not overreact to the relatively underwhelming performances from Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis of late. It looks like he was playing through an injury, but don’t forget that he had three games (including a 37-point performance in a victory over Ivey) in which Davis recorded at least 30 points against would-be tournament teams in Purdue, Houston, and Indiana.”
NBADraft.net: 6 to Kings.
NBA Draft Room: 9 to Spurs. “Davis should come off the draft board in the 6-12 range. He might not be a superstar at the next level but he seems like a safe bet to be a high level starter for a long time.”
Tankathon: 9 to Spurs.
Keith Lott of Fantasy Six Pack: 10 to Wizards.
Kyle Irving of The Sporting News: 8 to Spurs. “Davis is one of the biggest risers in the 2022 NBA Draft class, going from unanimously being left off of preseason Mock Drafts to cracking the top-10 in a matter of months. After averaging 7.0 points per game as a freshman, Davis has elevated his game to become one of the best scorers in the country. He has wowed the masses with his shot creation off the bounce, ability to knock down tough shots and score from all three levels of the floor. He works hard on defense but his measurables do limit his versatility on that end at the next level. His motor and winner's mentality will have to make up for what he lacks in length and NBA-level athleticism.”
Vincent Frank of Sportsnaut: 10 to Spurs. “The 6-foot-5 Davis is a scoring machine. He averaged 19.7 points for Wisconsin on the season. The dude can create off the dribble and is a lethal mid-range shooter. This is the type of playmaker the Spurs need. with two other first-round picks in this NBA mock draft, they go best-player available.”
Average selection: 9