Kentucky’s unibrow-havin’, shot-swattin’, championship-winnin’, and one-n-done’n big guy is turning pro. Who can use Anthony Davis? Well, everyone. He isn’t a life-changing player like Dwight, LeBron, Shaq, or Timmy, but he is a no-brainer as the top selection.
First off, most people think of him a power forward, not a center. That is fine. Most NBA teams have interchangeable pieces at those front-court spots anyway. Given some time and weight-training, he’ll be able to play both adequately. I think, for the record, he’ll end up being somewhere between Marcus Camby and Kevin Garnett as a player.
With all that said, where can he make the biggest impression. Let’s examine.
* Note- The Knicks, Wolves, and Nets don’t have lottery picks. Golden State may or may not.
Charlotte– No. The Bobcats will have the most ping pong balls, but Davis is a bit redundant for a team that has offensively limited big men Bismack Biyombo and Ty Thomas. Charlotte would be lottery-bound and bad again, even with Davis.
Washington- Yes. A John Wall-Anthony Davis UK pairing would set the capital city on fire and have them in the playoffs. Davis would be a perfect compliment next to Nene in the front-court, and the team’s defense would improve ten-fold.
New Orleans- No. The Hornets have too many other decisions to make on players like Kaman and Gordon.
Sacramento- Yes. Perhaps I am being optimistic, but Davis is just unselfish enough to make this work. The Kings are loaded with offensive weapons, but need a player like him to tie it all together. The UK combo of him and Boogie up front would be tough to handle.
Toronto- No. While I like the fit with Davis alongside Bargnani, the Raptors just have too many questions with the rest of their roster to do much more than just challenge for the 8th seed.
Cleveland– Yes. The Cavs would be playoff bound if they landed Davis. His skills would compliment well with soon-to-be rookie of the year Kyrie Irving. A three-man rotation of Thompson, Varajao, Davis up front would be very solid. I could see the Cavs as a 6 seed next year.
Portland- No. I don’t see it as a great fit, although his presence would likely be enough to get the Blazers in the playoffs if they make good moves in free agency. LaMarcus Aldridge plays the same position, and while I think they’d make it work, I just don’t think it’s a great match.
Golden State– Yes. The Warriors realized they needed to improve on defense and traded Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut. Of course, Bogut has to play to make it work. Davis actually would come off the bench in this scenario, but would compliment a Lee, Bogut rotation well and have the Warriors battling for a playoff spot.
Detroit– Yes. Greg Monroe is one of the nice young offensive centers in basketball. The Pistions have been desperate for a big body for years now. Davis immediately transforms the Pistons into a playoff team and undoes some of Joe Dumars many recent errors.
The borderline lottery teams would all be playoff-bound with Anthony Davis. Who would go from playoff fodder to a scary playoff team though?
Utah- No. The Jazz are already loaded in the front-court. Davis only helps in that they could trade him or one of their existing players to improve to a point where I’d change my mind.
Phoenix- No. Even if you promised me Steve Nash would be back, I couldn’t see the Suns as a top 4 team out West.
Houston- No. The Rockets have a lot of moving parts. Davis would sure help, but I don’t know what will be around him.
Milwaukee– No. Thought hard about it, but Davis being more of a PF than C at this stage still leaves the Bucks a little thin up front and they are already a little small in the back-court with Jennings-Ellis.
Philadelphia- Yes. The Sixers are already very tough on defense. Getting Davis to replace the aging (and perhaps amnestied?) Elton Brand or putting him in the center spot only makes the Sixers stronger. Philly led the Atlantic Division until a couple weeks ago, and with Boston (likely?) losing KG and Allen this offseason, they jump into the favorites role in the division.
As a basketball fan, I am cheering for Cleveland, Detroit, or Washington to win the lottery. It would do the most for Davis, and those city’s basketball teams.