We have nine days to go until the fateful lottery balls will be selected in the NBA draft lottery. The way I see it, right now, the Sixers will probably wind up taking one of eight players when all is said and done. I'm going to expand it to nine and list my top nine, from bottom to top. One per day until we reach number one on the day of. First up, number nine on my list, Ed Davis.
Age: 21 (in about a month)
Height: 6'9" (DraftExpress), 6'10" (ESPN)
Weight: 215 lbs.
I'm including Davis here because I believe he is one of the realistic eight guys the Sixers could select, not because I want him. Last I heard, he was still wearing a cast after breaking his wrist.
So this is how the series is going to work. I'll give you the bare facts and then I'll try to project how the player will fit with the Sixers. What immediate impact will he have? How could he fit long term? Does he slot in as another piece to the ultimate puzzle?
In Davis' case, he's got two things going for him. (1) He projects to be a strong rebounder. (2) He's more of a defensive player at this point, with room to grow on the offensive end. The bad news is that he's a big time project and I'm not sure I see the upside with him I do with the other guys on this list. Add that to the injury and, well, I'd be less-than-thrilled if he was wearing a Sixers hat on draft night.
If they do wind up taking Davis, I'm not sure where he slots in this season. I'm sure he'd find minutes, depending on the coach and what other personnel moves are made this summer, he could see significant time. The best case I can come up with in the short term is Davis as an athletic big who can come off the bench and give the Sixers a much better rebounder/shot blocker than they had deeper in their rotation this past season. Of course, we're comparing him to Speights and Smith, so the bar isn't exactly set high.
In the long term, Davis has the potential to turn into a 4/5 hybrid who can clean the glass and defend the rim. If his offensive game ever catches up to his defense and he can put some muscle on his frame, maybe, just maybe he can become a building block. Maybe a good one. Those are a few too many ifs for my liking, though.
Does a core of Jrue, Iguodala, Davis and whoever makes the cut of Thad, Speights and Lou float your boat? Thoughts on Ed Davis in the comments.