Anthony Davis is the presumptive No. 1 pick in Thursday's NBA draft, and he will prove his worth to the New Orleans Hornets—should they draft him first—during the 2012 Olympic Games.
The big man from Kentucky is one of 18 finalists on Team USA's roster. But he will surely be one of the 12 to compete for the U.S. in London.
Davis is a shot-blocking monster in the paint. He forces opponents to rethink their approach when he is in the lane, because it is so hard to attack him. On offense, his game is still developing. But after a year under Kentucky coach John Calipari, he has become a double-digit scorer at any level.
When the Hornets announce their pick tonight, they will surely select the forward out of Lexington. And they will get a sneak peek of his talents during the summer at the London Games.
There are six players left to be cut from Team USA. Davis will not be among them. The team needs to keep as many talented big men as possible, and Davis is a top-three candidate in the post.
Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love are the only other two players on the roster who can play as well as Davis inside. The three of them should be locks to make the team. Even if, by some miracle, Chris Bosh outperforms Davis during trials, the four big men will surely make the team.
Davis' skill set will allow him to play in London, where he will impress against the best forwards and centers in the world.
The 6'10", 20-year-old will be banging inside against players like Serge Ibaka and the Gasol brothers of Spain, Salah Mejri of Tunisia, Yi Jianlian of China and Andrew Bogut of Australia. While he won't be facing superstars like Dwight Howard, he will still be seeing plenty of action against elite big men.
Thanks to the thin frontcourt of the U.S. team, Davis will be seeing a lot of playing time. He has the skill to put up numbers similar to those he had with Kentucky last season, when he averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game as a freshman.
Thanks to a tall, lanky frame and great athleticism, he will be able to make an impact during the Olympics, and he could help lead Team USA to another gold medal.
Davis is a future superstar. He clearly has the tools to dominate, and the first time we will see him use them against professional big men will come during the London Games.