Davis, Gordon and. . . who???
By Jeff Martin
After months of enduring the agonizing contradiction of cheering for the home team to lose in hopes of landing the top overall pick, my dreams, and the dreams of many other Hornets fans were realized when the Charlotte Bobcats card was revealed as having the No. 2 pick during the NBA's Draft Lottery show. The opening of the final envelope was then only a formality as it was known the New Orleans Hornets won the lottery and secured the right to draft Kentucky's Anthony Davis, a player most consider as a "franchise changer" and major building block toward contending for a championship. But equally as important as getting the No. 1 pick is to the Hornets future, is what they will do with the No. 10 pick received from the Clippers in the Chris Paul deal.
Damian Lillard, Perry Jones III and Kendall Marshall are among the names that frequently come up when mentioning who the Hornets should select with that 10th pick, and rightfully so. Lillard is a dynamic scorer at the point guard position, who was second in the nation in PER (Player efficiency rating) behind only Anthony Davis. Marshall is bigger at 6'4, a better passer, and was called by some close to UNC Basketball as the greatest leader to come through the storied program in 25 years, while Jones III was once considered a lock for the top 3 and at if he pans out, could be a steal at 10. But the one name that has been recently brought up and threw me for a loop was Iowa State's Royce White, who some feel could complete a future Hornets Big Three.
The "Big Three" model, is one that has permeated throughout the NBA, and has been proven to be successful throughout the years. From the Showtime Lakers' Magic, Worthy, and Kareem to the mid-90's Bulls group of Jordan, Pippen and Rodman. And even more recently with the Spurs' Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili's 4 championships and the Celtics' Pierce, Allen and Garnett's 2008 triumph, the model of having 3 star players has usually led to consistent winning. With Anthony Davis now in the fold, and restricted free agent SG Eric Gordon likely to be resigned, the Hornets have a realistic chance of putting together a similar design to compete for championships for years to come.
But Royce White couldn't be that guy could he??? The Times Picayunes Jeff Duncan thinks so and he took to twitter to aggressively sing the praises of White, even claiming that "If the Hornets pass on White, they'll regret it". http://www.nola.com/hornets/index.ss...oyce_whit.html
"Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis and Royce White could be #Nola's version of The Big Three. #FleurDeThree" is an example of one of Duncan's Pro-White tweets.
My question is, If the sole purpose was to turn the No. 10 Pick into the 3rd member of a Big Three, which would be the best route? After doing my research on White, he surprisingly does looks the part of a potential all-star that could very well turn out to be that third piece. His court vision and passing ability at the forward position is second to none in this draft class and a "point forward" could prove to be very valuable to a Monty Williams team that will most certainly look to play a half-court style of basketball, built on ball movement. There has been much made about his anxiety disorder and off-court problems, but in listening to interviews by White and his head coach at Iowa State, former NBA player Fred Hoiberg, it seems these issues are blown out of proportion and will be a non-factor throughout his NBA career.
With that being said, I'm still in favor of moving the pick in a package to get a proven veteran, such as Atlanta's Josh Smith or Boston's Rajon Rondo, but with these scenarios being unlikely, the selection of White with 10th pick could very well prove to be the elusive third star this team is looking for.