Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Anthony Davis

Info

  • Measurables: 6-foot-10, 220 pounds, freshman C from Kentucky
  • Key Stats: 14.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 4.7 (!) blocks per game while shooting 62 percent from the field
  • Projected: No. 1 overall
  • Hickory High Similarity Score

Why I’m intrigued by this guy

The analysis here is pretty simple. Davis changes everything for the Pistons. Yesterday, when Dan Feldman talked about this being the second most important draft lottery in team history, he wrote that because of Davis. This draft has exactly one franchise-altering talent available. If the Pistons get him, all of the misery and bad basketball of the past four seasons will be quickly forgotten. Davis, simply, is a once-in-a-generation type talent and, other than possibly LeBron James, the easiest No. 1 pick in the last 20 years.

Pros for the Pistons

We’ve frequently discussed the need for the Pistons to add a rim-protecting presence next to Greg Monroe, and Davis and his nearly five blocks per game for Kentucky would certainly represent that. He’d instantly make the Pistons a credible defensive team. It’s easy to see him having a Ben Wallace or Dwight Howard-like impact in the league, winning multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards down the road.

But fans should be equally excited about Davis’ offense. He runs the floor well (which will help run-happy guards Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey). He throws great outlet passes, which should further ignite Detroit’s transition game. He finishes well, which will help pass-happy Monroe. He has the face-up game of a guard and handles the ball really well (a product of the fact that Davis hit a growth spurt late in his teenage years and spent most of his early basketball days as a guard), which helps the team as a whole, since they could use another big man capable of creating his own offense (playing offensively limited Wallace or Jason Maxiell big minutes often hindered Detroit’s ability to score this season).

If the Pistons don’t win the lottery and end up with a nice prospect like John Henson, they’re a good bet to take a baby step forward next year and threaten the .500 mark or a low seed in the playoffs. If they win the lottery and get Davis, they’ll be a trendy pick to get at the very least a homecourt advantage playoff series in the first round.

Cons for the Pistons

There are none.

What others are saying

Chad Ford:

Big man Anthony Davis is a lock as the No. 1 pick in the draft. The college basketball player of the year is the rare prospect who has virtually everything you want in a player. He’s got elite size, length and athleticism. He produced at a high level on the court (he led all NCAA players in PER this season) and still has tremendous upside going forward. He’s a great kid and a hard worker.

Yes, he needs to get stronger and he’ll need to continue to improve his offensive game, but at this point he’s considered a can’t-miss prospect by every NBA scout and executive I’ve spoken to.

DraftExpress:

He’s only fifth in usage rate on his own Kentucky team in fact, being mostly relegated to living off the scraps created for him by others. Davis gets the overwhelming majority of his touches playing off the ball—be it cutting to the rim, crashing the offensive glass, running the floor in transition, or as a pick and roll finisher. According to Synergy Sports Technology, only 20% of his offense comes off post-up, spot-up or isolation plays, which makes sense considering those are the areas he struggles in the most.

While Davis plays a simple role for Kentucky, he’s arguably the most efficient offensive player in college basketball, converting an amazing 67% of his 2-point attempts (which ranks in the top 15 in our database in the past decade) and turning the ball over on just 9% of his possessions. He’s one of the best finishers we’ve seen in recent years, making nearly 80% of his non-post-up attempts around the basket.

His tremendous length, outstanding hands, explosive leaping ability and terrific timing make him a ideal target for lobs.

NBADraft.net:

Bullet outlet passes are a major strength … Can handle the ball in space with occasional facilitation of the offense, and does not appear limited to straight line drives … Commits under a turnover per game as a freshman big, highlighting his guard skills … Still only 18 years of age, Davis grew 7 inches (6’3-6’10) between his HS junior and senior seasons … Dynamic versatility at both ends of the floor makes for boundless potential.

USA Today:

The Pistons already have Greg Monroe, and adding Davis would create a fearsome post tandem. Monroe is a terrific passer, and we envision a lot of give-and-gos.

What is the best thing Anthony Davis does for his team?

Kevin Hetrick of Cavs: The Blog:

Davis dominated the NCAA in a rarely exhibited way.  The scary thing is, he can get a lot better.  His shooting range is still unreliable, his back-to-the-basket game is raw, he’s too skinny…if he never improves on any of this; he’ll still be a low-usage, high-efficiency center that dominates one end of the court.   With strides in his offensive game and a little more muscle on his frame; could he win an MVP?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzhSOfAoTA4&version=3&hl=en_US]

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