2012 NBA Draft Lottery: Anthony Davis to New Orleans Hornets
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
by Bovada Sportsbook
This past college basketball season, Kentucky freshman big man Anthony Davis was utterly dominant in winning almost every national award and leading the Wildcats to the national championship. Well, Davis now knows his who his NBA employer will be after the New Orleans Hornets won the NBA draft lottery on Wednesday night.
Davis was the Associated Press National Player of the Year last season as well as the Final Four Most Outstanding Player. The 6-foot-11 Davis was the first player from Kentucky to win the national award and the second freshman overall, joining Texas' Kevin Durant in 2007. Davis was the first winner AP award from the Southeastern Conference since LSU's Shaquille ONeal in 1991. In the national title game victory over Kansas, Davis had just six points on 1-for-10 shooting but had 16 rebounds, six blocks, five assists and three steals.
Overall, Davis averaged a team-high 14.4 points (on 62.3 percent shooting), 10.0 rebounds and a national-leading 4.7 blocked shots per game with his 7-foot-4 wingspan. His block total was a school record and third-best ever for a freshman nationally. He was also the Southeastern Conference's Player, Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year.
Davis is considered NBA-ready right now as a defender and is being called by some the best big man prospect since Tim Duncan went first overall to the San Antonio Spurs in 1997. Duncan has been so good the Spurs haven’t been back to the lottery since and they are going for their fifth NBA title this season. He will become the second Kentucky player to go No. 1 overall after point guard John Wall went at the top to Washington in 2010.
The Hornets were recently sold to Saints owner Tom Benson – they were owned by the NBA prior to that (let the conspiracy theories begin!). This is a great result for a team that had to trade away star Chris Paul before last season. New Orleans finished 21-45 this past season, tied for the third-worst mark in the league. The Hornets had a 13.7 percent chance of winning the lottery. Of course Kentucky won the national title in New Orleans.
The big loser is Charlotte, which finished 7-59, dropping its final 23 games, for the worst winning percentage in NBA history. A team with the most lottery balls hasn’t won the lottery since Orlando in 2004, when the Magic took Dwight Howard.
Many expect that Davis’ freshman teammate, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, will be the second overall pick. The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 11.8 points and 7.6 rebounds last season and has a huge ceiling.
2012 NBA draft order (June 28)
1. New Orleans
6. Brooklyn (goes to Portland)
7. Golden State
10. New Orleans
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