2012 NBA Draft: Anthony Davis and Top 5 Players to Push Teams into .500 Club

Joye Pruitt@joyethewarSenior Analyst IApril 7, 2012

It may not seem as though Anthony Davis will have that grand of an impact on the Charlotte Bobcats. If you hadn’t noticed, while it may seem he has multiple personalities in separate zones, there is only one Davis and plenty of futility to repair. Davis’ contributions cannot extend to the front office where the true problem is.

The Bobcats’ decision-makers cannot seem to revise their turmoil-triumph ratio to pull off a decent record in the league and it’s pretty exhausting trying to figure out ways they can without the headline “Michael Jordan Finally Sells!” attached to it.

Charlotte is not going to be in honest contention for an NBA championship for at least another two, maybe three seasons, but that does not mean that a single player cannot pull them up by their boot straps to make bringing the team up in conversation manageable and mildly entertaining.

Davis is that young man and there are nine other like him this year’s draft that will hop from being a standout NCAA player to being a proud member of the NBA’s 500 Club, players a part of teams at or above .500 in a single season.


Anthony Davis to the Charlotte Bobcats

Charlotte’s Needs: Everything

The Charlotte Bobcats are a beautiful tragedy and the perfect moment for Davis to walk straight into a starting role. Unless Davis becomes the casualty of an incredibly freak accident in training camp, there is no reason to think that Charlotte’s coaching staff cannot envision him making a greater impact than even Kemba Walker, fellow NCAA championship winner.

He can spread the floor like a point and has the blocking abilities of an elite power forward. Davis is the best prospect in this year’s draft and will make an immediate impact on the Bobcats’ roster. This also means bumping the franchise up to their first .500 record at the end of the season since 2010.

Take their game against the Miami Heat for instance. If it had not been for Dwyane Wade’s 7-footer, the Bobcats would have experienced one of the best wins of their season.

If Davis would have been in the lineup, that would not have happened. It could have given Charlotte some shred of momentum and we could be having an entirely different conversation right now.


Thomas Robinson to the Washington Wizards

Washington’s Needs: Solid Frontcourt, Scoring, Mental Toughness

Sometimes I feel bad for John Wall and his potential in the league. He will never be able to exhaust Washington’s ceiling if he does not have able players surrounding him.

How can he be the cornerstone of the franchise if the Wizards’ front office cannot find anyone with prime NBA conditioning (Andray Blatche)?

Bringing Thomas Robinson in would cure some of Washington’s problems as his size and mental toughness make him a prime candidate for the Wizards’ 2012 season. After the death of his mother last season, Robinson was expected to fall off, and rightfully so.

However, Robinson challenged all those who felt as if he would become less of a trademark for the Kansas Jayhawks and played great basketball throughout the rest of the season.

This year, ever since the departure of the power twins, Markieff and Marcus Morris, he has become the undisputed leader of the Kansas basketball team.

Robinson is a solid scorer and has such high character that bringing him into the franchise is a no-brainer. Washington has nice talent but they just need some form of direction and leadership to mold them into prime contenders.


Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to the Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland’s Needs: Scoring, Better Shooters, Center, Small Forward

Watching Michael Kidd-Gilchrist come alive in the championship game against the Kansas Jayhawks was remarkable. Even though Anthony Davis eventually snagged the Most Outstanding Player award, Gilchrist left a strong statement on the floor as Kentucky threw their caps on and hoisted their trophy into the air.

Gilchrist is a natural-born leader and a great scorer if nothing else. He can improve his jumper, but beside Kyrie Irving, his scoring opportunities would be clean.

Irving has a great way of using anticipation to put his teammates a second ahead of their opposition, and his ball-handling is undeniable.

While Gilchrist may need a little more range in his offense, his defense is the strongest selling point. His athleticism and power have both seen substantial improvement since his senior year in high school, and throughout college, he has had a work ethic to rival the pros.

Gilchrist continues to get better and will make an instant impact with the Cavaliers, if selected.


Bradley Beal to the Sacramento Kings

Sacramento’s Needs: Perimeter Defense, Team Play, Ball Movement

When you see the Sacramento Kings play, you see a bunch of individuals fighting for a spot in NBA history, individually. There is no sense of team with this franchise.

Everyone seems to be out for themselves, and there is a large lack of cohesion that will keep the Kings from every being a threatening playoff contender.

Bradley Beal is the perfect candidate to step into such a ridiculously split situation and create a team dynamic, as he is one of the more unselfish passers and more team-oriented guys in this year’s draft.

Beal is a great shooter as well, which would only pile on Sacramento’s ability to score already. The Kings seem to love bringing in players with great strokes beyond the arc, so why not scout a guy whose defense is almost just as solid as his offense.

He can defend the perimeter a little better than standing Kings have been able to this season.


Jared Sullinger to the Detroit Pistons

Detroit’s Needs: Frontcourt Help, Scoring, Defense, Backup Point

Here me out. I know Sullinger isn’t exactly an above-the-rim athlete, and most likely never will be. However, that doesn’t mean that he and Greg Monroe can’t be a dynamic duo in the low post.

After Sullinger lost his weight, a concern was that he would lose that center of gravity and balance he used to abuse defenders in the low post with his back to the basket. Good thing for Detroit he has not.

There are still mismatches that can be created because the sophomore out of Ohio State doesn’t have the length or shot-blocking ability to be an Anthony Davis type of player, but he still has a refined offensive game that would contribute greatly to the Pistons’ sometimes lacking box scores.

Sullinger is an excellent rebounder and he battles on every possession.

He could relieve Monroe of some of his low post duties and push him into a more defined center spot with the Pistons as it seems Lawrence Frank has been priming his for the entire season.  


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