NBA Draft 2022: Alabama’s presence at the NBA Draft and beyond
For the third straight year, an Alabama hopeful makes it to the NBA Draft: JD Davison, and he is not the only one finding NBA opportunities.
Another Alabama basketball player called at the NBA Draft
On Thursday night, Alabama guard JD Davison was selected by the Boston Celtics with the No. 53 overall pick. The 19-year-old, who was the former Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year, was once a potential first rounder. Following an uneven freshman year at Tuscaloosa, Davison slipped to the second round.
Prior to his selection, Davison helped lead the team with 4.3 assists per game, ranking fourth in scoring (8.5 ppg) and second in steals (1.0 spg), in 33 games.
Former Celtics head coach and general manager Brad Stevens had a thing or two to say about Davison. “He’s a guy that we’ve seen all year long,” said Stevens. “Very young. Very explosive. That’s pretty obvious. All you have to do is turn on a couple of minutes of clips and you can see the upside.”
Other Alabama hopefuls in the NBA
Davison was the only Alabama player selected at this year’s NBA Draft, however, he was not the only one who found opportunities in the league.
Alabama guard Keon Ellis signed a two-way contract with the Sacramento Kings just after the draft came to an end. And only a few hours later, guard Jaden Shackelford signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Ellis and Shackelford count towards Alabama’s list of players in the NBA
Ellis earned a spot on the SEC All-Defensive team in the 2021-22 season as a senior. He led the Crimson Tide with 6.1 rebounds, 1.9 spg in steals, and 88.1 percent (free-throw percentage).
Two-way players, like Ellis, are paid a daily amount depending on the number of days played in both the G-League and in the NBA. Teams in the league have up to two players under two-way contracts. However, these players cannot spend more than 45 days with their NBA team.
Shackelford was named to the All-SEC second team as a junior. The 21-year-old paced the Crimson Tide in points per game (16.6 ppg), field goals (178) and double-digit scoring outputs (11). His Exhibit 10 deal with the Thunder is basically a one-year, minimum-salary contract that counts toward a team’s 20-man offseason roster limit, but doesn’t count against the cap with the exception of that player making the regular season roster.
NBA teams have the freedom to convert these deals into two-way contracts as desired.
With the signings of Ellis and Shackelford, and the drafting of Davison, Alabama now has nine active players on NBA and G-League rosters.