How would Anthony Davis change the fortunes of the teams in the 2012 NBA draft lottery? Any team with balls in the machine has a chance to win, and that means each of those teams has a shot at Davis.
The Chicago Bulls proved miracles can happen when they bucked the odds to snag the top pick in the 2008 draft, despite only having a 1.7 percent chance of getting the first selection. With that selection they changed the course of their franchise by selecting Derrick Rose.
He led the Bulls on a constant ascension that has seen them tally the best record in the NBA two years in a row.
Were it not for his knee injury in the first round of these playoffs, I believe it would be Rose's Bulls challenging the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference final.
I'm not one that believes Davis will have that type of impact, but I do acknowledge he is a very talented prospect. That said, let's take a look at the teams with a shot at selecting Davis (barring a trade that changes things) and the impact he could have on those lineups.
Charlotte Bobcats - 25 Percent Chance to Win the No. 1 Pick
The Bobcats have the greatest chance to win the lottery, and they clearly need the most help. They don't have a star at any position, and neither of last year's lottery selections (Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo) are good enough to say their spots are solidified.
Davis would be viewed as a potential savior in Charlotte, but the Bobcats need much more than Davis. If he is their most significant upgrade, then Charlotte still won't win more than 20 games.
He's a decent piece, but not a big enough impact to help them reach the playoffs anytime soon.
Washington Wizards - 19.9 Percent Chance to Win the No. 1 Pick
The Wizards have their point guard in John Wall, and they have a decent big man in Nene. Throw in Davis and this team is certainly on the upswing. They won't be ready to make the playoffs just yet with Davis alone, but adding a shooter or two would put them on their way.
Davis needs a playmaking point guard to reach his full potential, and Wall is that type of player.
New Orleans Hornets - 14.8 Percent Chance to Win the No. 1 Pick
(The Hornets have two picks in the lottery; this is their combined chance at attaining the top pick.)
The Hornets would do well to take Davis. The franchise needs a name to increase the marketability of the team, and Davis is the best player from the team that just won the national championship.
The Hornets are another team that isn't really set at any position—except 2-guard, and that's if they can retain restricted free agent Eric Gordon.
Much like the Bobcats' situation, Davis won't have a ton of impact on the Hornets' immediate win total, but he could be a decent piece in the rebuilding effort.
Cleveland Cavaliers - 13.8 Percent Chance to Win the No. 1 Pick
The Cavs already drafted Tristan Thompson in the lottery last year, so in my opinion they would be better off trading the top pick to someone that covets Davis. They played Thompson out of position at center at times in 2011-12, but he's really a power forward.
They could add other assets while still drafting a player that can help them.
If they did take Davis, I'd assume Thompson would come off the bench, but I don't think this is the ideal situation.
Teams with a Decent Chance
Sacramento Kings - 7.6 Percent Chance to Win the No. 1 Pick
Davis with the Kings would be very interesting; like the situation in Washington he'd be united with another former Kentucky standout, DeMarcus Cousins, and another John Calipari-coached player in Tyreke Evans.
The Kings have talent, and Davis could be the type of defensive presence that helps this team turn the corner. A starting five of Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton, Evans, Davis and Cousins would be promising.
What teams should trade the top pick if they get it?
This is a team where Davis could have a huge impact.
Portland Trailblazers - 8.3 Percent Chance to Win the No. 1 Pick
(The Blazers have two picks in the lottery; this is their combined chance at attaining the top pick.)
The Blazers should almost certainly trade the top pick if they get it. LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the best power forwards in the NBA, and taking Davis would be relegating the rookie to a reserve role for the foreseeable future, or planning to play someone out of position.
Both of those alternatives are bad ideas in my opinion. The Blazers could add assets and still draft the best guard available by moving the pick.
Golden State Warriors - 3.6 Percent Chance to Win the No. 1 Pick
This pick could go to the Utah Jazz if it falls outside of the top seven. If they are lucky enough to score the top pick, they should pounce on Davis.
The Warriors need to instill a defensive culture while maintaining their uptempo style. No player in the draft offers that possibility more than Davis.
It's only a slim chance, but the Warriors could improve and challenge for a playoff spot, if they are so lucky. A starting five of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Dorell Wright, Davis and Andrew Bogut would be a good look, provided they all stay healthy.
Toronto Raptors - 3.5 Percent Chance to Win the No. 1 Pick
The Raptors have a wealth of length and youth on their frontcourt already. Last year's lottery selection, Jonas Valanciunas, is set to arrive, and they already have Andrea Bargnani and Ed Davis.
That said, they would still have to select Davis here.
None of those prospects have proven enough to deter the Raptors from selecting him. His defense would have a big impact on the team, but the health of Bargnani and development of DeMar DeRozan is paramount if Davis' impact would allow the Raps to contend for the playoffs.
It's Going to Take a Miracle
Detroit Pistons - 1.7 Percent Chance to Win the No. 1 Pick
Davis could start from day one along side Greg Monroe. I still believe Monroe is more of a power forward, but he has had success as a center. Davis is a perfect complement to Monroe with his length, athleticism and defensive prowess.
If another John Calipari product, Brandon Knight, turns the corner, the Pistons could make the playoffs next season with Davis.
Milwaukee Bucks - 0.7 Percent Chance to Win the No. 1 Pick
Scott Skiles would love Davis, and he would flourish in his system. As an athletic big man that can defend the rim, Davis would get plenty of minutes in Milwaukee. Skiles' teams almost always overachieve, and if you plug Davis into the Bucks' frontcourt, they would be a playoff team next season.
Which team with less than a two percent chance at the No. 1 pick needs Davis the most?
This would be a great, but unlikely landing spot for him.
Phoenix Suns - 0.6 Percent Chance to Win the No. 1 Pick
If Steve Nash leaves in free agency, the Suns could be one of the three worst teams in the NBA next season. If you add in Davis, they are better, but not much. This team needs everything as they aren't completely set at any position.
Davis would give them a power forward, but without Nash he won't have the point guard to create opportunities for him early on.
He'd be a piece in a huge puzzle the Suns have to put together.
Houston Rockets - 0.5 Percent Chance to Win the No. 1 Pick
The Rockets are desperate for an inside presence. I'm not sure Davis would give them the offense they need, but defensively he'd be a huge asset.
The team has some talent and scoring elsewhere, so Davis wouldn't have to score much early. Drafting him would allow them to possibly move Luis Scola and others.
The Rockets just missed the postseason this year, and drafting Davis would almost certainly land them in the playoffs next year.
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