Since taking over the Toronto Raptors in 2013, Masai Ujiri has seemingly aced almost every decision he’s had to make.
He turned Greivis Vasquez into Norman Powell and OG Anunoby, picked Pascal Siakam late in the first round, found Fred VanVleet in the discard pile after the 2016 NBA draft, and of course, flipped DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green en route to a 2019 NBA championship.
Then once he reached the top of the NBA world, he did it again this past offseason, scooping up Ole Miss’ guard Terence Davis after the 2019 NBA draft.
Following last year’s draft, Davis joined the Denver Nuggets Summer League team where he played just one game, scoring 22 points in 29 minutes before Ujiri pounced, signing the 6-foot-4, then-22-year-old to a two-year deal. Since, Davis has proven all 30 NBA general managers wrong for passing on him.
As for why exactly so many teams missed on Davis, Sports Illustrated’s Ole Miss reporter Nathanael Gabler spoke to Jeremy Woo about his experience scouting Davis.
“I saw him play at South Carolina last year (2019), and he was just O.K. I was far from blown away,” Woo told Gabler of Davis’ college game. “But because he was athletic and fairly efficient and can get to the rim, a lot of that ended up translating better (to the NBA) than we thought.”
So far this year, Davis has scored nearly half of his buckets within the restricted area. He’s averaged 66.2% shooting inside the restricted area, making him one of the league’s most efficient guards near the hoop, per NBA Stats.
Through 64 games this year, Davis is 16th in minutes played for rookies, averaging 7.7 points with nearly two assists per game. Though those numbers aren’t necessarily eye-popping, he’s been a key contributor for the Raptors off the bench at times this season and could certainly see his minutes go up significantly next season if Fred VanVleet departs this offseason.
For a full look at how Davis slipped through the NBA draft cracks, check out The Grove Report.