New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis may not have won the NBA‘s Rookie of the Year Award, but that doesn’t mean the season was a failure for the 2012 number one overall draft pick. In fact, Davis showed the type of potential that suggests he will be a perennial all-star in the future, maybe even sooner rather than later.
Davis was named to the All-Rookie first team earlier this week after averaging a solid 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals per game in his inaugural season. Davis also boasted a player efficiency rating of 21.7 and shot .516 from the field, both excellent numbers for a rookie.
While Davis’ offensive game is still developing, he demonstrated tools that should give the Pelicans confidence that he can mature into an 18-20 point per game scorer on the NBA level. Davis has a frame similar to that of Kevin Garnett, and still retains some of the perimeter skills that he had as a guard in high school before hitting a major growth spurt.
Where Davis is already a difference maker is on the defensive end of the court. Davis has the instincts to annually rank among the league’s leaders in blocked shots, as well as the hand quickness and agility to pick up a steal or two a night. Davis’ 3.1 personal foul rate per 36 minutes is further evidence of his defensive prowess, as it’s uncommon for a rookie (and some veterans) to maintain a foul rate of that level.
With Tim Duncan nearing retirement, there will be a spot on the All-Star roster opening up that Davis can quickly grab, if his game continues to improve. The Pelicans struck gold by landing the top pick last season, and with Davis on the roster paired with new ownership their losing ways should come to an end soon.