During a whirlwind summer in which he was chosen as the NBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick and also won an Olympic gold medal, Anthony Davis has been called a franchise-changing, once-in-a-generation talent. He’s also been deemed the most intimidating defensive presence to come out of the college ranks in the last 20 years – if not longer.
As the 6-foot-10 University of Kentucky product approaches his official pro debut in October, however, there’s one description he has yet to be tagged with: Finished product.
The 19-year-old Chicago native is just 18 months removed from playing high school basketball. Furthermore, due to his much-discussed, eight-inch growth spurt, he’s only been a frontcourt player for a relatively brief period of time. As recently as his sophomore year at Perspectives Charter School, he was a 6-foot-2 guard. For his part, Davis has publicly listed several short-term personal goals, telling the New York Times recently that he hopes to be named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in 2012-13. Although Davis is projected by many to make a significant impact on the Hornets this season, New Orleans’ coaches and staff are even more focused on his future, long-term development.
Less than a month from Davis donning a Hornets uniform for the first time in a Mexico City preseason game Oct. 7, here are four things to know about the player’s preparation for ’12-13 and beyond: