Denver Nuggets' Jordi Fernandez: Terence Davis’ NBA contract a credit to program
Jordi Fernandez firmly believed Terence Davis was an NBA-caliber player and publicly made sure everyone was aware of it.
The Nuggets Summer League coach mentioned it repeatedly during minicamp and it was the first thing he said in assessing the guard’s impressive performance in Sunday’s win over the Magic. So it wasn’t a surprise to Fernandez that Davis ended up signing a multi-year contract with the Toronto Raptors just hours after dropping 22 points on Orlando.
“I'm so happy for him because the kid deserves it and he was very excited about it,” Fernandez told Nuggets.com.
Terence Davis came into the Nuggets summer league roster hoping to showcase why he can be an effective 3-and-D contributor for NBA teams. In his Summer League debut, the 6-foot-3 guard did just that – hitting five threes and standing out on defense.
“With me starting at the two, I knew I would have opportunities and I took advantage of them,” Davis said after the win. “I’m an undrafted guy and that’s what I’m trying to showcase to other teams and the Denver Nuggets.”
It was that skillset that led to Davis getting an invite from the Nuggets. Fernandez is happy to have played a part in helping the former Ole Miss realize his NBA dream.
“We’re extremely happy for him,” the coach said.
Summer League is often an interesting situation for the coaches who are involved. Teams are evaluating their rosters for potential training camp invites while most of the players are fighting for their professional basketball lives. Sometimes players leave similar to Davis while other times, teams are able to find players under the radar, like Torrey Craig. Fernandez believes Davis’ move is a credit to the Nuggets’ Summer League program, showcasing the scouting and coaching that helps players like Davis and Craig to find opportunities in the league.
“That's what we're all about. I think we've proved it in the last few years with the guys that we've brought to our team in Summer League,” he said. “Torrey [Craig], Kenrich Williams and now Terence and a lot more guys.”
With Davis now in Toronto, it leaves the Nuggets’ starting shooting guard position open. Fernandez insists the team will find a player who can step up into the role.
“I think it's going to be the next man mentality,” Fernandez said. “We have enough players that guard at a high level. That's how our offense started yesterday, from having really good one-on-one [defense] -- building a wall in front of their offense. We will still be able to do that.”
He added, “Everyone will contribute. There's going to be more shots for other guys and we want to also see who is going to step up and do it.”