Anthony Davis was the clear choice for top overall pick by the New Orleans Hornets and is now the favorite to win Rookie of the Year in 2013.
He appears ready to make an impact right away for the Hornets—at least on the defensive end. He'll likely be their best rebounder and shot-blocker the day training camp begins.
It takes more than just talent to win Rookie of the Year. The player has to be in the right situation as well. Davis has the talent and is in the right situation.
The former Wildcat isn't the only rookie with a shot at the award, though. Considering both talent and situation, here are my top five candidates for 2013 Rookie of the Year...
Projected Stats: 12.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game
Why It's the Right Spot: From day one, there won't be anyone ahead of Anthony Davis on the depth chart. Emeka Okafor was recently traded to Washington and Chris Kaman is an unrestricted free agent and is not likely to be back in New Orleans.
Even with an offensive game that may not be quite up to speed for the NBA game, Davis should get big minutes at center and put his rebounding and shot-blocking skills on display every night.
Projected Stats: 13.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game
Why It's the Right Spot: Jordan Crawford may be ahead of Bradley Beal on Washington's depth chart at the start of the season, but I wouldn't be surprised to see that flip around the All-Star break.
Beal is a better shooter. He's slightly bigger and has a longer wingspan. And he's more athletic and explosive.
The Wizards have one of the most exciting young backcourts in the league with Beal and John Wall in place at point and shooting guard.
Projected Stats: 9.6 points and 7.5 assists per game
Why It's the Right Spot: This one should be pretty obvious. Phoenix operates a run-and-gun offense that requires a pass-first point guard to be successful. Marshall is hands-down the best playmaker in this year's draft class.
With Steve Nash on his way out, Marshall could start plenty of games as a rookie. If he's playing alongside OJ Mayo and Michael Beasley (it's possible), he should rack up plenty of assists.
Projected Stats: 11 points and 6.3 rebounds per game
Why It's the Right Spot: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a question mark for me. I understand he's a good player with a great motor, but he's far from polished as a basketball player. In fact, he lacks some really important basketball skills, particularly shooting.
He needs a lot of work to be a good NBA wing. But let's face it, he'll be playing for the Bobcats, and even I could probably average double figures for that team.
Projected Stats: 12.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game
Why It's the Right Spot: Last year, Perry Jones was projected to be a top-five pick, and this year many projected him to at least go in the lottery. Somehow, the phenomenally athletic 6'11" wing/forward hybrid slid all the way to the Western Conference Champion Oklahoma City Thunder at pick No. 28.
OKC has the perfect culture for Jones. He'll be with other young, dynamic stars and the work ethic of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook could inspire Jones to work on one of his biggest flaws: his own work ethic.
The style of basketball the Thunder play is perfect for Jones too. The speed with which they play the game will give the former Baylor Bear plenty of chances to show off his athletic prowess.
Whether or not it's the starting five, OKC's best lineup next year will be Westbrook, James Harden, Durant, Jones and Serge Ibaka. PJIII is my dark-horse pick for Rookie of the Year in 2013.