After one of the most dominant freshman seasons in college basketball, Anthony Davis knew that he had to make the leap to the NBA, and he was rewarded for that decision when he was snatched up in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Davis is the best pure shot-blocker that we have seen in college basketball since Patrick Ewing at Georgetown in the 1980s. His presence in the paint was the biggest reason Kentucky won a national title last year.
There is no doubt that Davis has superstar potential, but he will be under intense pressure to reach that ceiling sooner rather than later.
What Davis Brings to the Team
Davis is not going to be able to turn things around on his own. He is a lottery talent, for sure, and completely worthy of this selection, but he is going to need help.
Where Davis will help, at least initially, is on the defensive side of the ball. He is not the biggest player in the world—he is listed at 6'10", 220 pounds—but he has long limbs and an aggressive style that help him block shots and grab rebounds.
What's scary is that Davis has yet to really hone his offensive skills. He has a style that will allow him to get the ball down low and score around 8-10 points per game, but when he adds more muscle and gets comfortable with his shot, he is going to be a 15-18 point per game scorer.
What Experts Are Saying
Ed Isaacson of NBADraftBlog.com did an extensive breakdown of Davis' strengths and weaknesses leading up to the draft, offering praise to the Final Four Most Outstanding Player before saying that he is far from a sure thing.
...his game is still very raw, especially on the offensive end, and NBA fans who expect him to come him and have the same impact right away that he did in college are going to be disappointed. If given the right coaching and some time to develop physically and skill wise, Davis could be one of the NBA’s best, but he is not there yet.
Therein lies the dilemma for Davis and the team. He is going to need time to adjust to the nuances of the NBA and perfect his style before he turns into a star.
In keeping with the previous thought, expectations should be tempered for Davis' debut. He is going to be good right away, but not quite as good as we might think.
Look for Davis to average less than 10 points per game, while contributing 10-12 rebounds and two blocks per game.
Given the amount of hype that has been attached to Davis following his one year in college, fans are not going to have a lot of patience to let him develop. He has the kind of ceiling that scouts drool over, but is going to need time before he becomes a superstar.
Expect a solid rookie season that should have him competing for Rookie of the Year. Asking anything more would likely be asking too much.
Does Davis fill a need for the Hornets? Do they need a disruptive defender in the key? Do they need a 6-10 athlete who can run the floor? Do they need someone who can become a dependable scorer near the basket? Do they need a big man who can range outside and hit his jumper? Do they need a smart, energetic youngster with scary potential? Do they need a box-office draw?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.