Better Know a Prospect: Ed Davis, PF - North Carolina

With an immense frame and an excellent work ethic, Ed Davis will certainly be a lottery pick and probably will be selected in the top 10. There's still a reasonable chance that he'll fall to the Hornets at the eleventh spot, where he could provide the Hornets with a valuable defensive and rebounding presence that they desperately need. However, he is offensively challenged and needs guards to create shots for him.

Bio: Ed is the son of Terry Davis, a former NBA journeyman who was undrafted but proceeded to have a moderately productive NBA career, playing for the Heat, Mavericks, Wizards, and Nuggets. Ed played for Benedictine High School in Richmond, Virginia, where he was regarded as one of the best players in the nation, consistently ranked in the top-5 prospects by rating services. He was voted Mr. Basketball in Virginia and was on every All-American team. His freshman year at UNC, he was playing for a very talented team that won the national title. Davis had to play behind Taylor Hansborough, which meant that Davis didn't get many minutes in his first season. He was expected to have a breakthrough campaign in his Sophomore year, but he fell short of expectations, much like the rest of the Tar Heel team. His season was cut short in February, when he broke his wrist and was forced to miss the rest of the sophomore year. His disappointing Sophomore campaign has led many scouts to project him to be a role player rather than a star player in the NBA.

Stats: Davis has two key strengths: rebounding and shot-blocking. Davis can clean the glass on both ends of the floor, nabbing 3.8 offensive boards and 8.8 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes, pace adjusted. He was a force in the paint on the defensive side, blocking 3.7 shots per 40p. The rebounding rates can be expected to translate well to the NBA, but the shot-blocking prowess might not carry through to the pros.

Davis has shown physical dominance of his opponents, attempting 0.69 free throws per field goals attempted. He's a poor shooter, but he was able to nock down 65% of his attempts from the line. I say he's a poor shooter, but we aren't particularly sure. Synergy Sports says that he attempted a total of four jumpers last year. On those four shots, he looked bad, but we haven't seen enough to be sure that he's terrible. But it's safe to presume that there might be a reason that he's so unwilling to shoot. Nonetheless, Davis knows his role and finds a way to get the job done around the hoop - despite having no jump shot at all, he has a 57% two point field goal percentage.

Skills: Davis has an outstanding frame that allows him to play even bigger than his 6'10" height, with an immense wingspan. He still needs to fill out his frame (he only weighs 225 lbs), and that might take a couple years. In the meantime, he'll still be able to use his long arms to block shots and shoot his jump hooks. He displays a really nice touch around the basket, which complements his long frame nicely. He does all the little things, right, too - he has a good motor, plays with intensity and smarts, and has good awareness on both ends of the floor. On the defensive end, he shows great promise, using good fundamentals and amazing physical gifts to stymie opponents. He won't be a top-flight defender from day one due to his lack of strength, but he could easily develop into an elite post defender.

Davis has glaring weaknesses, though, starting with his complete and utter lack of a face-up game. He is an atrocious ball-handler, he nearly literally doesn't have a jump shot, and he is a poor passer from the post. He gets pushed around by stronger players on both ends of the floor, and he doesn't have the lateral quickness to cover the combo forwards in the NBA.

Overall: Davis would give the Hornets a defensive and rebounding presence in the low post they sorely need. His offensive game doesn't particularly fit well with any team, but might go well with the Chris Paul's ability to create shots for him. The biggest problem with Davis is that he combines a project status with a low upside. Although he could turn into a very high-quality role player, he probably won't be of enormous value for the Hornets next year.

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