Re-Drafting the 2012 NBA Draft Using Advanced Analytics
New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis came into the NBA fully hyped as a superstar and future MVP of the league. His size combined with freakish athleticism left no doubt that he was bound for success.
The Brow, from Day One, stepped into a void in New Orleans left behind from the trade of Chris Paul. He was seen as the franchise savior. He was anointed the one player who could take them from years of mediocrity, or worse, to the NBA's promised land.
To his credit, Davis has done a lot in just a few seasons. After earning only 27 wins in his rookie year, the 6'10" big man took New Orleans to the playoffs in just his third season. In the process, he became only the second player ever to put up averages of 24.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game under the age of 22 with Shaquille O'Neal being the other. He has been an All-Star three times, led the Association in blocks twice, and has been in the top seven in scoring the past two seasons.
However, for all his accomplishments, after four seasons in the NBA, Davis is not looked at with the same glowing awe that entered with. It could be because New Orleans regressed to only 30 wins in 2015-16. It could also be that Davis was not scoring with the same efficiency last season as he was in his first three seasons in the league. His offensive rating plummeted to 102.6, a nearly six-point drop from 2014-15.
The other concern with Davis has been his injuries. In four years, Davis has never played more than 68 games in a season due to a laundry list of ailments.
Have we seen the best Davis has to offer? Is it possible Davis' best years, even at only 23, are behind him?
Knowing that after four seasons in the NBA there are questions about Davis' potential and future, would New Orleans still take him with the first choice in 2012? Is there someone else that would give the Pelicans pause and make them re-think their choice?
Let's see what the numbers say.