Thirteen teams are clamoring for the right to draft Anthony Davis, a 19-year-old forward from Kentucky.
Between his tremendous size, 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, and the potential to still grow, Davis is the first consensus No. 1 overall pick at center since Tim Duncan.
As the leading shot blocker in the NCAA last season, turning away 4.7 attempts per game, including 24 rejections en route to Kentucky’s first national championship since 1997, Davis is the franchise cornerstone each of the 14 non-playoff teams in the NBA desperately need.
Davis was so dominant during his only year of college basketball that the United States Olympic team added him to its pool of candidates for this summer in London.
While there will be work Davis will need to do before becoming a completely dominant center, like add to his frame and develop a post game, his ability to block shots and rebound make him the consensus first overall pick of 2012.
Unlike so many big men in the NBA, Davis isn’t a liability at the foul line, as he converted 70.9 percent of his free throw attempts.
Tonight the fate of 13 franchises will be determined simply by where their number is called up in the draft lottery.
No team has posted a worse winning percentage in NBA history than the 2011-12 Bobcats. Accused of purposely throwing away games to land Davis, no team has better odds than Charlotte to land the prized prospect. A massive overhaul is needed with the team and it has already begun with the firing of coach Paul Silas at the end of the season.
Chance of winning the lottery: 25%
Washington’s best season of the past four years was the one prior to landing John Wall with the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Since landing the former Kentucky point guard, the Wizards have gone just 43-105 but the addition of Davis may be enough for the team to make a playoff push.
Chance of winning the lottery: 19.9%
Cleveland is looking to join the 1992-93 Orlando Magic as the only franchises to win the draft lottery in consecutive years. With Rookie of the Year point guard Kyrie Irving selected first overall a year ago, the Cavaliers are hoping to quickly restore its championship hopes by adding a scoring threat capable of finishing the precise passes from Irving.
Chance of winning the lottery: 13.8%
New Orleans is in desperate need of help in the back court. With Eric Gordon entering free agency, the main piece acquired in their deal with the Clippers for Chris Paul, the Hornets are hoping for a little luck from their two chances at the first overall pick in the lottery.
Chance of winning the lottery: 13.7%
Not only is the Kings roster uncertain, their long-term future in Sacramento is highly questionable. The city of Sacramento has petitioned the league front office to force the Kings to be sold to a new owner so the foundation of DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans can lead the team into the post season for the first time since 2006.
Chance of winning the lottery: 7.6%
If the Nets lose the lottery, they will likely lose their superstar point guard as well. Deron Williams is an unrestricted free agent, a risk Brooklyn new about when dealing for him at the 2011 trade deadline and without the No. 1 overall pick, a deal for Orlando center Dwight Howard is a long shot and the enticement of bringing Williams to Brooklyn will be non existent, especially if the Nets fall out of the top-3 picks, because their selection will then go to Portland.
Chance of winning the lottery: 7.5%
Prior to tonight’s lottery selection, the Warriors were attempting to complete a trade with Utah to ensure they keep the pick. The two sides announced a deal is unlikely to be made prior to tonight’s selection. If Golden State lands anywhere in the top-7, it retains the draft rights, if it lands eighth or below, the Jazz acquire the pick.
Chance of winning the lottery: 3.6%
After averaging just 90.7 points per game, third fewest in the league, Toronto is hoping to use its selection in this draft to combine with Jonas Valanciunas, the fifth overall pick of the 2011 draft to give the team a solid foundation. The 6-foot-11 Valanciunas spent last season playing in Lithuania and is in the process of negotiating a buyout to join the Raptors next season.
Chance of winning the lottery: 3.5%
The Pistons have slowly started to rebuild thorough the draft, selecting Greg Monroe seventh in 2010 and Brandon Knight eighth overall a season ago. Five players scored in double figures last season, but without a dominant scorer, the Pistons will be unlikely to snap a three-year playoff drought.
Chance of winning the lottery: 1.7%
As the only team with two chances to landing the top pick, this one courtesy of the Minnesota Timberwolves, via the Clippers as part of the Chris Paul trade, the Hornets are hoping to select first since landing Larry Johnson in the 1991 NBA Draft.
Chance of winning the lottery: 1.1%
Once again the story in Portland was injuries. Greg Oden, the first overall pick in 2007 missed the entire season due to knee surgery, Brandon Roy was forced to retire early and All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge was sidelined late in the year after undergoing hip surgery. As the most playoff ready team of the lottery group, a strong showing in the lottery could ascend the Trail Blazers back into championship contention.
Chance of winning the lottery: 0.8%
Milwaukee reinvented itself last season, transforming from the worst offensive team in the league, averaging a league low 90.9 points per game, into the third highest scoring team in the league, pouring an average of 99 points each night. Andrew Bogut was dealt for Monta Ellis, securing the Bucks back court, leaving Milwaukee to the draft to improve up front.
Chance of winning the lottery: 0.7%
Steve Nash has likely worked his last miracle in Phoenix. Despite a roster severely lacking in talent, the All-Star point guard guided the team to a .500 finish. Nash enters free agency and will likely join a championship contender, leaving Phoenix desperate for an unlikely outcome in tonight’s draft lottery.
Chance of winning the lottery: 0.6%
Controversy has already set in with Houston as point guard Kyle Lowry called for a coaching change, believing he can’t coexist with Kevin McHale at the helm. Goran Dragic proved to be a capable point guard in Lowry’s absence a year ago, and the Rockets are hoping to land an additional piece in the draft to return to the playoffs.
Chance of winning the lottery: 0.5%