Let the Anthony Davis era in New Orleans begin.
The No. 1 draft pick hopes to turn around a Hornets team that posted a 21-45 record last season. If there was a player in the draft that can make that happen its Davis. The 6'-10" center averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds and led Kentucky to the national title. In the championship win over Kansas, Davis scored only 6 points but hauled down 16 rebounds, had 5 assists, blocked 6 shots and had three steals. Obviously, Davis can affect the game in many more ways than just one.
Davis also had crucial experience this summer as a member of the gold medal winning USA team, playing alongside some of the best players in the game. Davis is such an interesting prospect because his game is NBA ready but he could get even better with more experience. The Hornets are banking on that.
The Hornets rebuild won't solely rely on Davis. The team also had another first round pick and selected guard Austin Rivers out of Duke. Rivers played just one season in college and averaged 15 points but only 2 assists. Rivers can score the ball but he will have to be more of a distributor at the pro level.
The Hornets didn't let guard Eric Gordon go to Phoenix, matching the Suns' 4-year, 58- million offer. Gordon averaged 20 points a game with New Orleans a season ago and he will be the marquee player offensively for the Hornets.
New Orleans brought in shooter Ryan Anderson in a sign-and-trade with Orlando. The small forward Anderson received a four-year, 34-million deal after averaging 16 points and 7 rebounds for the Magic last season.
The Hornets also brought on forward Hakim Warrick and center Robin Lopez in a trade with Phoenix this off-season. Lopez would be an adequate back-up to Davis and Warrick could provide some minutes off the bench as well. Former Wizards guard Roger Mason Jr. was also signed by the Hornets to add another outside threat.
New Orleans extended coach Monty Williams' contract so the team appears committed to him to oversee this rebuilding project. With Davis as the new face of the franchise, the turnaround may not take that long.