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Projecting Anthony Davis’ NBA career

This picture never gets old.

Anthony Davis has one of the most unique and complete skill sets we have ever seen in college basketball. He can absolute do it all on the basketball court. Besides his need to get stronger and grow into his frame, he doesn’t really have any weaknesses in his game. Davis is projected to go first overall in June’s NBA draft and have an immediate impact on the team that wins the sweepstakes for his services. The overall excitement of his game has basketball analysts looking ahead to what type of player he will be in the NBA — or better yet, who his game most closely compares to. Our guys at Bleacher Report complied some stats comparing Davis to some NBA All-Stars that have similar skill sets to the Player of the Year, and set up some comparisons that I’m sure AD would love to be able to fill. Here they are:

Chris Bosh (6′ 11”, 235 lbs, 49.3 career FG%, smooth outside jumper)

The major comparison between Chris Bosh and Anthony Davis is the fact that both players have smooth jumpers that can help their team spread the court. Bosh is able to step up from the paint and hit turnaround jump-shots with ease, and that’s exactly what Davis can do as well.  While Davis still has some work to put in on his jumper to become more consistent, there’s no doubt that he’s a seriously dangerous perimeter threat with his size and athleticism. The one advantage that Davis has over Bosh is the fact that he’s a more athletic player that has ridiculous hops that makes him a dangerous threat in the transition game and when crashing the boards. If Davis can put a little more muscle on his 6′ 10” frame and put a little more polish on his jumper, there’s no doubt that he can be just as dominant of a player as Bosh, if not better.

Marcus Camby (6′ 11”, 235 lbs, career 2.5 blocks per game and 46.7 FG%)

The major comparison between Marcus Camby and Anthony Davis is their massive 6′ 11” frames and their abilities to be legitimate defensive forces in the paint with their defensive shot-blocking and shot-altering abilities. Davis has more athleticism and versatility in his game than Camby does, and that’s what makes him even more exciting of a prospect than Camby ever was coming into the NBA. Davis is capable of stretching the court with his mid-to-long range jump-shot while also being able to slash to the rim with some serious athleticism. There’s no doubt that if Davis is able to put more weight on and work on his post-up offense, he will have a more productive and better career than Camby, mainly because he is a more versatile offensive player.

Kevin Garnett (6′ 11”, 255 lbs, 19.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game)

This one might seem like somewhat of a stretch, but Anthony Davis has a lot in common with the Kevin Garnett that played with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Both players are well-sized big men that bring a special athleticism and shooting ability to the game while also being legitimate forces on the defensive side of the ball. Garnett is arguably a better, more complete offensive player, while Davis is the better shot-blocker and defender, but they still have quite a bit in common–especially if Davis is able to pack on an extra 15 to 25 pounds on his skinny frame. With some polish and work to his post-up game, there’s no doubt that Davis could have just as productive of a career as Garnett. The one advantage Davis has over Garnett, though, is his impressive ability to block shots and alter opposing teams offensive game plans in the paint.

BR also listed Tayshaun Prince as a possible comparison, but I don’t really buy that because I don’t think any team that drafts AD will put him at the wing. Serge Ibaka was also listed and I’ve heard Tim Duncan as well. Personally, I think that Kevin Garnett is the best comparison for Davis. They are both tough, defensive forces and I believe that Anthony’s offensive game will be able to blossom in the NBA. Any of these comparisons you like? Dislike? Anyone not listed you’d like to see? Let us know.

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

27 Comments for Projecting Anthony Davis’ NBA career



  1. tdogg40330
    4:06 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    I dont compare AD to anyone, he has a game of his own.



  2. Bob Cousy
    4:18 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    Bill Russell.



  3. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    4:19 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    I like the Garnett comparison. People forget how good he was defensively at the beginning of his career.



  4. Daniel
    4:38 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    Of active players, KG is the best comparison. If you include retired players, I’d go with Bill Russell.



  5. KYStout
    4:42 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    Starting to see some talk of Doron Lamb returning to UK next year.



  6. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    4:46 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    5….not happening



  7. B
    4:49 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    Hopefully Bob Ryan can give us his insight on how Anthony Davis projects to the next level because we are all clueless.



  8. Chuck
    5:06 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    Muggsy Bogues



  9. lonnieb
    5:21 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    #5
    Im not being a turd…..but you are like the 3rd or 4th person on this website to state that in comments section the last few days……I have read nothing of the sort. Do you have any links talking about it? If anything I think teague would be the one to consider returning as I think he can really improve his draft status. Lamb is what he is. He will be late 1st round pick this year or in 2018. His game does not translate well as a whole at the next level, he will just be a shooter and in most cases trying to defend bigger more athletic 2 guard. I hope lamb the best and would love him to return, but staying would not be beneficial for him. I actually think staying could hurt him…..he has been nails for 2 straight years with great numbers, what if he happened to have an off shooting year? With that being his best quality it could hurt him. Shooting as main skill is different than being athletic or awesome at D. Those skills dont go away….shooters can go into significant slumps, even good ones.



  10. Bradley
    5:22 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    6. Wrong. It sure is.



  11. dave
    6:00 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    i don’t see the KG comparisons. KG shoots wayyyy better than AD. he looks for his shot, drives to the bucket some & also posts up. AD posts up, goes after Orebs, gets lobs & also shoots (may be drives).



  12. UK Homer
    6:12 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah, AD is his own player for better or worse.



  13. Steve
    6:17 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t ever link to bleacher report

    Also, of course he’s not as advanced as current hall of fame KG, but his tools are very similar and he is much more advanced offensively than KG was when he came in the League



  14. strange brew
    6:21 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    Even if Davis offense sucks at the NBA level, I don’t see his defense being bad. If anything, he’s Camby. That’s the worst case. Not bad for being worst case. Anything better is just that, better.



  15. Big Blue Nation
    6:25 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    I think hes very similar to Josh Smith of the Alanta Hawks.



  16. Marty
    7:04 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    Personally I see him being a more athletic Tim Duncan, but is it possible with his history as a hairs he end up like kevin Durant?



  17. Austin
    7:15 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    I believe a good comparison, at least offensively is Lamarcus Aldridge.



  18. UniBro
    7:24 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    11. KG a wayyyy better shooter than Davis? You obviously didn’t watch KG when he first came into the league. Did not come into the league with a “J.” Right now maybe he’s a better shooter, but as rookie his FT% was lower than AD’s was this year. With a shooting release like Davis has, he will easily be able to add an outside threat to his arsenal.



  19. kc
    7:34 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    With a little weight, how about Tim Duncan. Both can shoot and have ridiculous defensive skills.



  20. Holy-Thumbs
    8:21 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    His game is better compared to Tim Duncan. Their size, athletic ability, and Basketball I.Q. are very similar at that stage in their career. Unlike the other 3 players, both A.D. and Tim are winners and have a winning mentality. Tim has always been my favorite big man and I see a ton of Duncan in A.D.



  21. mlvei
    8:34 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    AD compares favorably with Bill Russell defensively, however Bill got there first and invented the shotblock/save. Offensively he compares with Garnett, Duncan, etc. if his offense develops as it should. However, compare Bill Russell and Kareem intellectually. Russell – I would urge viewers to read some of his books and you will see that Bill is a very special, thoughtful, deep thinker whom I hope Davis will emulate in this respect. AD has point guard skills that don’t really compare with anyone of his size – in that, he is all by himself. I wish him nothing but great success!



  22. duh
    9:13 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    im surprised that people dont talk about this more … but davis sees himself as durant more than any other player. i doubt he will ever become that force on offense, but he is already better on defense. when davis plays against the heat do you think he will guard bosh or lebron? im going with lebron.



  23. Jorts' Tightie Whities
    10:11 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    I see more David Robinson than any of those players. We can only imagine what would have happened if Robinson had gone through the same career path as Davis instead of attending Navy for 4 years and then serving in the armed forces for two more before he even started in the NBA. They are both tall, athletic shotblockers who rebound the ball well and have good skill and coordination on the offensive end. I don’t think that Davis will have the immediate impact that Robinson did (improving a team by ~40 wins in year one is pretty much out of the question), but long-term he has the potential to be a top 50 player like Robinson and have a better NBA career.



  24. DULE SUCKS
    10:48 pm April 15, 2012 Permalink

    Camby! Anyone who watched our 1996 team play against him knows that’s not a bad thing.I thought watching this team this year
    AD-Camby
    Teague -Wayne Turner
    Lamb-Delk
    Wiljer-Padgett when he was younger.



  25. gerry baldridge
    3:46 am April 16, 2012 Permalink

    Davis reminds me of a quicker/faster/more agile Jabbar. Earlier in the season when Davis was taking one handed hooks. I couldn’t help but think that if he perfected a couple of moves to setup a one handed hook that Davis could be dominant on the offensive side of the ball. Its obvious right now in his basketball life that he is not totally comfortable putting up a one handed shot down in the post; however, if he becomes more natural (through many personal hours in the gym) and confident in a one handed shot then he could be really dominant.



  26. Evan
    11:12 am April 16, 2012 Permalink

    Ever since he was in high school Davis was getting KG comparisons and I still think thats the most accurate, Davis has an edge in shot blocking of course though.



  27. rhino
    1:17 pm April 16, 2012 Permalink

    AD is between KG and Duncan. Athletic and quick like KG but with emotions of Duncan. KG wears emotions on his jersey. Duncan has a quiet competiveness. Somewhere in between would make for a great career.