Johnny Davis sat in the bleachers at the Wizards’ practice facility and got an up-close look at what waited for him.
Davis, who recently completed a stellar season at Wisconsin, was in town for his first solo workout of the NBA Draft cycle. First, he had to wait for the Wizards to conclude a workout immediately prior with six different draft prospects.
And when it was done, Davis spoke to the high intensity of the workout and what he still had to learn.
“Never had a workout like that before,” he said. “But I’m happy to be able to get as much experience as I can in before I hopefully get drafted and go play in the season.”
At Wisconsin in the 2021-22 season, he averaged 19.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game as he showcased himself as one of the nation’s best players at the college level.
It’s for that reason, with the guard-needy Wizards selecting 10th three weeks from the day of his workout, that he found himself in Washington D.C. for the workout. Which, he admitted, led to a bit of nerves.
“Especially with the projections and all that right now, I kind of feel this is a spot I could land at and be able to come in and make an impact right away,” Davis said. “I just want to be able to show the whole front office and the coaches what I can do.”
Davis interviewed with the Wizards at the NBA Draft Combine and said he spoke with general manager Tommy Sheppard and coach Wes Unseld Jr. to get a feel for the organization. He’s also gotten a good look at the team’s guard play over the last decade, too.
“Back when they had John Wall I watched them a lot,” Davis said. “You know I really enjoyed watching them, and especially Bradley Beal. I think that’s a player that I could really try to model my game after.”
From those meetings over the last few weeks with Sheppard and Unseld, he liked what he came away with.
“Mr. Sheppard is a really cool guy, I saw him at the lottery and at the interview,” Davis said. “I enjoy talking to him. Coach Unseld seems like a really hardcore, intense dude. I could tell that sitting in the interview. I like that kind of coach. He’s all business, no jokes.”
Should Davis be around 10th overall to join Unseld’s roster, he figures to give them a guard presence they lacked for a majority of last season.
Bradley Beal has spoken in the past about how the team needs a bigger guard that can create offense, play solid defense and help facilitate for the rest of the lineup. And if Davis is the addition in Washington, the Wizards will boast an athletic, lanky lineup. With Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis at the four and five, respectively, a bigger guard at the point would give the Wizards a handful of lineup mismatches against virtually any team they play.
But for now, Davis is just trying to enjoy the process. In three weeks, that process might have him land in Washington.
“I only get to go through this once in my entire life, in my entire career,” Davis said. “So just being able to come in here and work as hard as I can and show this team, or any other team, what I can do and compete and just hoop the way I do.”