When the New Orleans Hornets won the draft lottery for the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft it was all but a certainty that they would use it to select Kentucky star freshman forward Anthony Davis. Davis was the only clear-cut “sure thing” prospect in a draft that featured more question marks that bona fide star players. So far in his young career, Davis has flashed the necessary skills that will take him to NBA stardom in a few seasons.
Davis’ stats have been modest for a rookie; averages on 12.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks while playing a conservative 27.9 minutes per game. Hornets head coach Monty Williams has chosen to ease his future franchise player along slowly rather than throw Davis full on into the fire, and for good reason. While Davis has a ton of talent he is still just 19 years old — Davis turns 20 on March 11 — and is still growing into his 6’10″, 220 lb slight frame. Playing in the post in the NBA takes a physical toll on a player’s body, so limiting Davis’ minutes while he matures was a smart strategy for the Hornets.
Even while playing restricted minutes Davis has put together some excellent games. For example, Davis scoring 21 points against Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs in his NBA debut, or pulling down 18 rebounds to go along with 20 points against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 9, or the 23-point, 11-rebound, 5-block stat stuffer Davis registered in a victory over the Charlotte Bobcats back in November.
With the right players around him Davis has a legit chance to lead the Hornets back to respectability. He has the defensive skills and offensive tools to eventually develop into a hybrid Duncan/Kevin Garnett type of forward in the near future, giving the Hornets the ideal young player to build their soon to be Pelicans franchise around.