Anthony Davis overwhelming pick of GMs as player to start NBA franchise

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

ORLANDO – It says a lot about Anthony Davis’ current stature in the league that after 86.2 percent of the NBA’s general managers voted that they’d start a franchise today with him over anyone else, his Pelicans teammates seemed completely unfazed by that exceptionally high number.

“It really doesn’t wow me,” New Orleans center and 12-year NBA veteran Kendrick Perkins said of the 86.2 figure, after shootaround this morning at Amway Center. “It doesn’t wow me. Just from me being around here, I can see why they say that. His upside is tremendous. I always forget that he’s only 22 years old. He’s something special. All he has to do is continue to work.”

NBA.com published the results of its annual GM survey Tuesday, with Davis being the overwhelming No. 1 response to the question “If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the NBA, who would it be?” GMs were not permitted to vote for their own players; Kevin Durant (6.9 percent) and LeBron James (6.9 percent) were the only other names selected.

In the same survey, Davis garnered 25.0 percent of the votes to the question “Who will win the 2015-16 MVP?” That was second place, behind only James (39.3 percent).

“He does so much for his team,” Pelicans guard and 10-year NBA vet Nate Robinson said. “He can shoot, dribble, play defense. He does everything a GM would want. That’s big-time.”

Even though he already made the All-NBA first team last season, Davis also picked up 6.9 percent of the votes in the category “Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2015-16?” Davis also was voted the NBA’s best power forward (82.1) and third-best center (6.9).

The Pelicans received the third-most votes in the most improved team category, behind only Oklahoma City and Milwaukee. Alvin Gentry ranked No. 1 in the responses to which new coach will make the biggest impact.

Other notes from shootaround:

  • Gentry has said throughout preseason that the Pelicans will treat the final two preseason games similarly to regular season contests in terms of his lineup and rotation. Starting guard Eric Gordon: “Coach told us a lot of the starting five is going to play a lot of minutes tonight. We’re going to try to gear it almost like a regular season game.”
  • Perkins on NOLA’s fast starts in first quarters lately: “It’s being locked in. It’s developing trust for one another. Once you develop trust, the rest takes care of itself… We’ve been doing a lot of the little things that have been helping us.”