Anthony Davis: Hornets Must Find Suitable Big Man to Pair with Star Prospect
It's not only critical to the success of the New Orleans Hornets franchise that it pairs a suitable big man up with inevitable No. 1 pick Anthony Davis.
It's critical to the success of Davis down the line.
Davis averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks in his freshman season with national champion Kentucky before declaring for the 2012 NBA draft. He's been compared to anyone from Tim Duncan to Hakeem Olajuwon, given his defensive prowess in the paint. But even superstar prospects need help.
The Hornets also have the No. 10 overall pick in the draft this year. By all indications, they will draft another big man to pair up with Davis, or trade the pick for a proven veteran in the post.
So far, they've worked out seven power forwards/centers in the draft class: Baylor's Perry Jones III, Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, North Carolina's Tyler Zeller, North Carolina's John Henson, Kentucky's Terrence Jones, Illinois' Meyers Leonard and Mississippi State's Arnett Moultrie.
Zeller and Leonard are the only clear cut center prospects, so you would have to think the Hornets would select one of them if they decided to draft a big man at No. 10 overall (Davis most likely fits better as a power forward in the NBA, given his lanky build).
If the Hornets do draft a big man at No. 10 (which they should, unless they trade the pick for a proven center), I would personally select Leonard.
What should the Hornets do with the No. 10 pick?
Leonard is raw, but he has great potential. He not only has impressive measurables (7'1", 250 pounds with a 7'3" wingspan), he also could develop into a complete player at the NBA level. He has soft touch around the basket, can run the floor well and projects to be a good low-post defender, rebounder and shot-blocker, much like Davis. In fact, both Leonard and Davis are similar in that they both entered high school as guards, only to sprout into highly-athletic big men.
After the NBA combine, Chad Ford of ESPN reported on June 11 that "virtually every exec in the NBA was predicting that he would go somewhere between nine and 14 and that he had moved ahead of Tyler Zeller on their big boards."
Davis projects to be a All-Star multiple times in the NBA, but he needs a partner-in-crime along the way. Who the Hornets choose to be that partner-in-crime will go a long way in determining the success of Davis, and the success of the franchise.
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