If you subscribe to the conspiracy theory of the NBA Draft Lottery; either the Charlotte Bobcats, Brooklyn Nets, or New Orleans Hornets will win the number one overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. All three franchises sorely need a boost which expected top overall prospect, Anthony Davis of Kentucky will certainly provide to whichever franchise selects him.
The ping pong balls will sort themselves out Wednesday night so let’s take a look at each team’s odds and what landing the #1 pick (aka Davis) would mean for their franchise. Go here for The Sports Bank’s 2012 NBA Mock Draft.
Charlotte Bobcats (25%)
Coming off the worst season in NBA history, no team needs a future franchise player worse than the Bobcats. Davis would undoubtedly step into the starting line-up and play heavy minutes from the opening tip of the season. Combine his length and athleticism with the strength and physicality of last year’s first rounder Bismack Biyombo, and that gives Charlotte a nice 1-2 punch in their frontcourt moving forward.
Click here for our Bobcats off-season team needs page
Washington Wizards (19.9%)
The Wiz did use the sixth overall selection on power forward Jan Vesely last season but landing the first pick and Davis would allow Washington to amnesty the enigmatic Andray Blatche. Davis, Vesely, Nene Hilario, Kevin Seraphin, and Trevor Booker would give the team formerly known as the Bullets a deep, young, versatile frontcourt Wouldn’t it be fun to see John Wall throwing alley-oops at the rim to Davis a few times per game too?
Cleveland Cavaliers (13.8%)
If lightning strikes for the second time in as many years for the Cavs, we’d have to start re-thinking this idea of Cleveland being a cursed sports town. Pairing Davis with last year’s top overall pick and 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving would certainly help heal the open wounds from LeBron James’ decision to abandon Cleveland. Davis and Tristan Thompson would be an intriguing combination up-front and also allow the Cavs to shop Anderson Varejao in hopes of adding some needed pieces on the wing.
New Orleans Hornets (13.7% and 1.1%)
The Hornets also own the Clippers’ pick so that’s why they have two different percentages for landing #1. For a franchise that was owned by the NBA this past season and has faced financial struggles in recent year, landing a player like Davis would be a major boost for not only the product on the floor, but also assist in putting butts in the seats. Davis would also fill a major need at up-front since Carl Landry and Chris Kaman are free agents and Emeka Okafor can never seem to stay healthy.
Sacramento Kings (7.6%)
The Kings have a ton of talent but not a whole lot of chemistry guys whose number one priority is something other than scoring. Davis proved he can impact the game in numerous ways without having to be a ball hog on the offensive end. Somebody like that would be a tremendous fit alongside DeMarcus Cousins and maybe help keep the Kings franchise in Sac-town.
Click here for our Kings off-season team needs page
Brooklyn Nets (7.5%)
If the Nets win the lottery, the frozen envelope theory will be brought up. I guarantee it. The Nets’ first round pick goes to Portland from the Gerald Wallace trade. However, if that selection ends up in the top three, it stays with New Jersey… errrr… Brooklyn. With Deron Williams, Wallace, and Kris Humphries all set to hit free agency, the Nets would be doing back flips if they landed the #1 pick. Davis will help the franchise transition to a new city and increase the likelihood of some of those star free agents re-signing.
Golden State Warriors (3.6%)
The Warriors acquired Andrew Bogut prior to the trade deadline and will pair him with David Lee for the future. Adding Davis would make one of those guys expendable and give Golden State… errrr… San Francisco or wherever they are going to play, a realistic chance of returning to the post-season next year.
Toronto Raptors (3.5%)
Like Golden State, Toronto doesn’t have a major need up-front with Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson, Ed Davis, and last year’s first round pick Jonas Valanciunas coming to the NBA next year. Still, Anthony Davis would be the pick which would then allow the Raptors the opportunity to shop Bargnani and fill some other holes. Valanciunas and Davis would be one heck of a future frontcourt and bring plenty of optimism north of the border.
Click here for our Raptors off-season team needs page
Detroit Pistons (1.7%)
Greg Monroe and Anthony Davis in the frontcourt together? Yes, please. Detroit needs to find an upgrade to pair alongside Monroe in the starting line-up and Davis would be a perfect fit. Monroe’s offensive skill combined with Davis’ ability to protect the rim would be a special combination for years to come.
Portland Trail Blazers (.8%)
Besides LeMarcus Aldridge, the fossil Kurt Thomas is the only front line player under contract for Rip City next season. Like Detroit, pair Davis’ defensive abilities with Aldridge’s skill on the offensive end and the Blazers would be sitting pretty.
Milwaukee Bucks (.7%)
Since trading Andrew Bogut, the Bucks have a need for a true center. While Davis projects to be a power forward at the next level, his defense would be a solid compliment inside to the physical Drew Gooden. Getting Davis would also decrease the importance of Milwaukee re-signing free agent Ersan Ilyasova who is due for a significant pay raise this off-season.
Phoenix Suns (.6%)
With Steve Nash an unrestricted free agent, the Suns could use a new face of the franchise moving forward. Davis would definitely fill that void which possibly wouldn’t be a void at all since landing him might entice Nash to return to the desert.
Houston Rockets (.5%)
The Rockets have been coveting an athletic, shot blocking presence for some time now and that’s especially the case this off-season with Marcus Camby a free agent and the team holding an option on Samuel Dalembert’s contract. A Davis-Luis Scola duo would be fun to watch.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.
You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.Follow paulmbanks