Now that the NBA Draft Lottery is out of the way, it's time to start profiling the Pacers possibilities for 1st Round picks. The profiles will follow the same format as my 2nd Rounders, with a little bit more detail.
The Pacers received the 10th pick in the Lottery, but several possibilities for trading down and/or acquiring multiple picks have been floating around. For that reason I'm going to examine anyone who might help the Pacers, and then discuss within the profile any steps which might need to be taken to acquire that player.
We have just over a month until the draft, so I'll try to get a profile out every day or two. Here's who we'll be looking at today:
Ed Davis - PF/C - 6' 9.75" 227lbs. - University of North Carolina
- Measuring out at 6' 9.75" with a 7'0" wingspan, Davis his the height and length to make an impact in the NBA. He weighs just 227lbs. but has a frame which could support much more weight than that. Working with NBA trainers should allow him to bulk up, adding the strength he needs to round out his inside game.
- Although you wouldn't call his post game refined, Davis is an excellent finisher around the basket. When working in the paint he does a terrific job of drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line.
- Davis is a terrific rebounder, especially on the defensive end, posting a DRRof 24.2% this season. His length and athleticism also make him a dangerous shot blocker.
- He has solid quickness and footspeed for a player his size, although some of his fundamentals and body positioning hamper his ability to maximize these tools.
- Davis still has a lot of potential for improvement. He will be 21 years old by the time of the draft, but because of an injury last year, will have played only a season and a half of college basketball. He is among the most intriguing big man prospects in the draft in terms of upside and potential.
- Davis needs to start his NBA career by working hard to add muscle and strength, in both the lower and upper body. His lack of strength reduces the effectiveness of his post game on offense, as defenders will quite easily push him off the block and away from the basket. The reverse is true on defense as he struggles to prevent stronger opponents from setting up wherever they want. Improving his strength will also allow Davis to maximize his rebounding abilities at both ends of the floor.
- His offensive game is very one-dimensional at this point. Almost all of his points come at the basket either from post ups or finishing off cuts. He has yet to show a consistent mid-range jumpshot. Rarely will Davis put the ball on the floor and try to take his man to the basket. He has all the physical tools to make these weapons part of his arsenal, he just needs to take the time and put the work in.
- He needs to become a much more consistent free-throw shooter.
- Davis has a lot of work to do on his defensive fundamentals. He has good quickness for a player his size, but doesn't position his body well and frequently gets beat. When defending in the post he needs to work on using his length to challenge shots as well as block them.
How he can help the Pacers -
- Davis has the physical tools of an NBA player. He could step in next year and be ready to contribute as a rebounder and shot blocker, something the Pacers may be looking for. On the offensive end he still has a long way to go before he can become a consistent contributor.
- Frontcourt minutes may be hard to come by for the Pacers next season with Roy Hibbert, Jeff Foster, Troy Murphy, Tyler Hansbrough, Josh McRoberts and Solomon Jones all returning. More than anything else Davis needs to be able to play as many minutes as possible to develop his skills. He averaged only 18.8 minutes per game his freshman year. His averaged increased to 26.9 this season, but in only 24 games before a season ending injury. He still really hasn't had a chance to demonstrate what he is capable of. If the Pacers decide to draft Davis it's likely that someone else in their front court rotation may be moved. This may seem harsh, but if the team can't move one of the other forwards, it might be worth it to have Davis spend some time in the D-League next season. This would give him a chance to play large minutes and get lots of reps on the offensive end.
- Davis is projected to go in the lottery. If the Pacers decide they want him, they'll most likely need to stay at pick #10 and take him there.
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