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 No. 1 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 No. 1 pick (a.k.a. Davis) would mean for their franchise.
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 lineup 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.
The Wizards 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?
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.
The Hornets also own Minnesota's pick (via the Clippers and Chris Paul trade) so that's why they have two different percentages for landing No. 1. For a franchise that was owned by the NBA this past season and has faced financial struggles in recent years, 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 up front since Carl Landry and Chris Kaman are free agents, and Emeka Okafor can never seem to stay healthy.
The Kings have a ton of talent, but not a whole lot of chemistry guys whose No. 1 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 Sacramento.
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 backflips if they landed the No. 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.
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 postseason next year.
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.
Greg Monroe and Anthony Davis in the frontcourt together? Yes, please. Detroit needs to find an upgrade to pair alongside Monroe in the starting lineup, 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.
Besides LeMarcus Aldridge, the fossil Kurt Thomas is the only front-line player under contract for Rip City next season. Pair Davis' defensive abilities with Aldridge's skill on the offensive end, and the Blazers would be sitting pretty.
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 complement 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 offseason.
With Steve Nash being 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 offseason 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.