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How much better does Anthony Davis make the Hornets?

Jun 26, 2012, 11:27 AM EDT

Final Four - Louisville v Kentucky Getty Images

In our instant world — where we can download almost any song ever written in seconds, where even our oatmeal is instant — we don’t like to wait for things. If it takes more than three clicks I’m frustrated.

But building an NBA team to contention is an exercise in patience. Well, except in Miami. But that’s the exception, usually teams are built more like Oklahoma City — draft well, make some trades and try to bring together a team that will grow into a contender.

That is what’s happening in New Orleans. That is what this draft and getting Anthony Davis means in the Big Easy — the Hornets are not going to be good next season, but there is a path to future contender laid out now. The foundation is there.

The hardest thing to acquire in building a contender is the franchise player. There just are not a lot of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant kind of guys out there. Bobcats general manager Rich Cho says with his rating system he thinks there are fewer than 10 true franchise guys in the NBA right now.

Anthony Davis could be one of those guys.

You never know with a draft pick, there’s always risk, but Davis has graded out with scouts as well as anybody coming out of college in years. He is long, athletic, thinks defense first, is efficient on offense (he had the highest PER in college last year) and he has a good work ethic. He could be the franchise anchor that gives New Orleans a defensive stopper and a rebounder, plus he can score and his offensive game will improve.

New Orleans also has Eric Gordon, probably the best young two-guard in the game. He came to them as part of the Chris Paul trade and if you forgot how good he is remember how important he became for Team USA at the FIBA World Championships in Turkey. That was Durant’s team, but Gordon’s role really grew through the tournament.

After this draft (also with the No. 10 pick) the Hornets will have a core of players they can start to build around. They have a coach in Monty Williams who last season got a weak roster to play hard, defend and get the most out of what they have. They have a very smart GM in Dell Demps.

The Hornets will come out of this draft with the foundation of a future contender. It’s a long way to go to get there, but New Orleans has the path to the title.

And that is a great place to be as a fan, if you can just be patient.

  1. miamatt - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    They could easily go from ‘eeewww’ to ‘eh’ this year…

  2. truthhurtstoo - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    kids got to bulk up…. he’s way too skinny

    • professoressadiesel - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      Isn’t that what they said about Durant?

      • scalfor3 - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        durants a 3, this kid is gonna have to guard guys on the blocks.

      • trickybastard - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:24 PM

        Yeah, the Durant argument does not apply to front court player; Center and POWER forward

    • 1historian - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:29 PM

      That’s true but don’t forget that he was only something like 6’2″ in his sophomore or junior season in HS and he grew real fast.

  3. eltrilliardo - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I might be the only one who feels this way, but I don’t think this guy is going to be the franchise player that is expected of him.

    At best, Marcus Camby… He’s certainly no Duncan or Howard.

    Can someone name a string bean center under 7’0″ with limited offensive skill that turned into an all star in the recent era? Maybe I’m forgetting someone… Cartwright? Nah, he’s 7’1″. Daugherty? Nope, he had offensive skill.

    I mean, even Laettner had size on this guy, and, well… could shoot.

    I don’t know, maybe I’m missing something here – but domination at the NCAA level for one year doesn’t guarantee you much more than the first overall pick.

    Franchise player? I don’t see it. Time will tell though, and as a Chicagoan, I hope he proves me wrong.

    • rocketsredbear - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      What do you define as the “recent era”?

  4. suhnum1fan - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    they can go from piss poor to piss! that’s better than before

  5. isujames - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:03 PM


    • buffalowned - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      oh….thanks for that

  6. nomad57 - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    They were in a ton of close games last year, but did not have a go to scorer down the stretch. If Gordon can be THAT guy and stay healthy, with the influx of young guys (if they pan out decently) they should challenge for a playoff spot, which would be a nice jump. They have a good coach who seems to get everything out of his team.

  7. 49erminer4life - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    He’ll make a difference on defense, but he’ll never develop into a franchise player. I think more joakim noah, tyson chandler.

  8. camnellum12 - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Anthony Davis is NOT a franchise player. He’ll help New Orleans defensively and in the transition game, but get off his tip, Kurt keeps making Davis sound like the best prospect since LeBron. all this hype should’ve been said for Kyrie Irving, he should be an elite PG in a year or two, can’t say the same for Marcus Camby 2.0 here.

  9. pmd5319 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    As a Hornets fan, I’m excited about AD. However, I have realistic expectations. I only expect Davis to help hold down the paint defensively and rebound. If he develops offensively, great, but I’m not banking on it. Hornets were a very good defensive team last year (They had to be because no one on the roster is an above average scorer, except Gordon who didn’t play much). The only potential franchise player on the Hornets is Gordon. Davis, I hope, allows them to be even more aggressive on the perimeter by cleaning up anything that breaks into the paint. People have definitely forgotten how good Gordon is. Way better than everyones sweet heat this year James Harden (who I am a fan of). Hornets future is good, but not great. They are banking on Gordon suddenly being able to play 82 games a year (not sure if he ever has) and Davis’ potential. That’s alot of uncertainty going forward. I’m excited to watch this team going forward, but I am definitely cautious. I hope others are realistic in their assessments as well.

  10. rocketsredbear - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Actually, teams that build the draft are more likely to go back into the draft. Teams in this league that contend are built through trades and free agent signings.

    The “model” the Thunder have adopted is essentially the same model that the Spurs have had for over a decade. But that is glossed over in the bandwagon attention OKC is getting. You get lucky, draft a franchise guy and then surround him with complementary pieces. It worked for over 30 years until the 90’s when teams start buying guys in big trades and overwhelming free agent signings. In the past 20 years only 3 or 4 teams have won a champion by “building through the draft”.

    As usual, the writers for this website do absolutely no fact finding or research before they post an article. The Lakers, Bulls, Pistons, Celtics, Mavericks, Rockets, and Heat all won titles because they TRADED or SIGNED for big name players.

    Now yes, all of these teams had a franchise guy that they drafted who was an integral part of their success. But, the majority of their contributing players were signed or traded for.

  11. imforbigblue - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    All you guys who think David is no good must of never watched him play at UK. He didn’t score a lot of points because he didn’t have to he was playing with 3 other lotto picks. On any other team this kid would if dropped 20 points a game easy! Give him a couple of years in the nba and this kid will be great!

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