2012 NBA Draft: Why Anthony Davis Will Turn Hornets into Title Contenders

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IJune 13, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts late in the second half against the Louisville Cardinals during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

There's no questioning that on June 28, Kentucky's Anthony Davis will become a member of the New Orleans Hornets, but the question is whether he will be able to turn them into title contenders.

That answer is a simple "Yes."

Not right away, but Davis will eventually make the Hornets legitimate title contenders.

Assuming they re-sign Eric Gordon, the Hornets will be set with Gordon, a good young player whom they will select with the No. 10 pick in this year's draft and a very good young coach in Monty Williams.

But what will make them title contenders down the road is the impact that Davis will have on this franchise.

I often call Davis the best big man prospect to enter the draft since Tim Duncan went No. 1 overall in 1997. With that being said, I expect him to be as impactful as a young Duncan was.

He will have a huge impact on the defensive end of the floor and teams that can defend well usually have playoff success.

Davis blocked 4.7 shots per game as a freshman, but while his length and athletic ability led to much of that, the most impressive part of Davis' game is his footwork and positioning. He blocked all of those shots while only committing 2.0 fouls per game.

Defensively he rebounds, blocks shots and alters so many more, but he eats up space like no other player I've seen at the collegiate level.

He can defend a guard on the perimeter as well as he can block a shot in the paint. But he's the type of player that can make up for his teammates defensive mistakes as well. Opposing players often think they have a ton of space after beating their man, but Davis comes out of nowhere to swat shots away.

Watching Davis on television is one thing, but if you get the opportunity to watch him live, he leaves your jaw on the floor with his athleticism.

More importantly, defense is contagious and I expect before long, the Hornets will feed off the effort Davis brings.

He understands the game and is athletic enough to have an impact in the NBA from day one.

Davis can dominate a game without ever touching the ball, and down the road, if Hornets general manager Dell Demps adds a few pieces around his soon-to-be star, then it won't be long before New Orleans will be called title contenders.