NBA Summer League 2012: Anthony Davis' Absence Will Ruin Vegas Week
The NBA's Summer League isn't expected to be an exciting affair, but the Hornets would have changed that tune. Davis' presence next to 10 other rookies on the New Orleans roster would have generated buzz.
Their 15-man roster includes 11 rookie players. Watching them battle it out for roster spots will be intriguing, but watching Davis and Austin Rivers together would have been must-watch television. Add Darius Miller to that group and you have a riveting five-game stretch.
Without Davis Rivers will still be fun to watch, but the NBA loses one of their main attractions. Team USA experience will benefit him down the road, probably more than Summer League games, but that doesn't do anything to salvage the NBA's week in Sin City.
I foresee a quick turnaround in New Orleans, and this summer is the first step in that process. Their young roster will take awhile to mesh together, and these players must begin that cycle now. Davis is the key cog in that rebuilding machine, and it would have been nice to work him into his new rotation.
Instead the rest of the team will mesh while Davis works out with players he won't be playing next to when next season rolls around. I can't see it hindering his development, if anything it should increase his maturity, but it doesn't help the Hornets' chemistry.
Veterans like newly-acquired Ryan Anderson have to aid that chemistry once preseason begins, but the young guys can start now. In the Hornets case, that's pretty much the entire team.
Which young team are you more excited to see?
People are still excited about the NBA draft and next year's incoming rookies. Davis headlines that class, and Rivers was one of the most polarizing names in the entire group this year.
Putting them both on the same team creates a marketers dream and a surefire fan frenzy, but now we have to wait. The Davis-Rivers combination generated more buzz than is normally attached to Las Vegas week, but now that's gone.
Putting Miller in the mix adds another storyline to follow as he and his former Kentucky teammate (Davis) try to conquer the NBA together. Miller doesn't have Davis' star power, but he's the consummate glue guy, He will be very valuable to the Hornets when all is said and done. Watching him grow without his former teammate this month will be interesting.
All of New Orleans' buzz begins with Davis. He's cut from the cloth of an NBA star, and he's landed in the heart of a hungry fanbase. The Hornets may not win a lot in 2013, but you can bet they will be fun to watch.
It all comes down to youthful energy in the Hornets' rebuilding process, and that begins with Davis, but those fans will have to wait.
I'm sure they are impatient. I know I am. Everyone was eager to see Davis develop alongside his teammates in Vegas as opposed to toiling away on Team USA's bench.
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