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May 30, 2012
Hornets win NBA lottery, chance to draft Davis
Anthony Davis is likely headed back to the city in which he won his NCAA title.
"It's like karma," Davis said in an ESPN interview Wednesday after the New Orleans Hornets won the NBA lottery and the right to the No. 1 pick in the June 28 Draft.
The Hornets had the fourth-best odds, at 13.7 percent, to win the top overall pick after finishing the regular season 21-45.
"If I get picked No. 1," Davis told ESPN, "why not go back and try to win another title in New Orleans?"
Davis said he will be able to stretch defenses using his guard skills and provide "intensity" on the defensive end with his shot-blocking and rebounding.
New Orleans coach Monty Williams didn't specify who the organization will pick with the top overall choice - he said in a conference call he wasn't sure if he could talk about specific players at this point - but it's almost certain Davis, the consensus NCAA Player of the Year, will be the top selection.
"Getting a No. 1 pick gives you an opportunity to make the right choice in terms of addressing our needs, adding a player who could be a game-changer for us," Williams said.
Davis could potentially pair up with guard Eric Gordon, a restricted free agent who averaged 20.6 points per game in nine games this season for the Hornets after being traded from the Los Angeles Clippers.
"You get a No. 1 pick, that's an enticement to not only Eric but other free agents around the league who want to play with a player of the caliber that a No. 1 pick can bring," Williams said.
The Hornets, who didn't have an All-Star last season for the first time since 2006-07, will center the rebuilding process on Gordon and their pair of draft picks (New Orleans holds the No. 1 and No. 10 choices).
"Our city is excited, our organization is excited. There's so many implications that I probably don't have the capacity to think about, but they're real when you get the No. 1 pick along with the No. 10 pick," Williams said. "The problem I see is putting too much pressure on those two guys to save the organization or save the team. That's not their job. We have to put the right people around them."
Charlotte, which had the best chance to land the No. 1 pick, will select second. Washington, Cleveland and Sacramento round out the top five.
Davis' former Kentucky teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is expected to go within the top five and as high as No. 2. Four other former Wildcats - Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb and Darius Miller - also are projected picks in the two-round draft.