NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28: Anthony Davis of the Kentucky Wildcats looks on prior to being selected number one overall by the New Orleans Hornets during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
There will be the tendency following the draft to critique what the Hornets did after selecting Anthony Davis - both at the tenth pick and, to a lesser extent, at the 46th pick by not possibly trading up to a more productive player. It was a tendency I indulged in quite heavily yesterday. I didn't think Rivers was a great prospect, I don't think he was a great pick, and he won't have the opportunity to make me change my mind for quite a few months yet.
But for all my apprehension (and yes, getting Anthony Davis is outstanding, but the Hornets simply don't have the leeway to make too many mistakes around him. see: the Chris Paul era), I recognize that there should also be immense positivity.
Six months ago, the Hornets didn't have an owner, had minimal talent on the roster, didn't know how much longer they'd be playing in the city, and in general, were in shambles. Today, the team knows it will be in New Orleans long-term, under a stable owner, in possession of a star, potential superstar, strong bench, Austin Rivers, whatever he ultimately proves to be, and thirty million dollars in cap space. It's nothing short of stunning.
This is a franchise that in the space of a month has gone from an afterthought to one of the hottest, fastest rising stories in basketball. And for that we should be immensely thankful.
So let's forget Austin Rivers or the lack of center or small forward for just a little bit and look at the bigger picture. We'll most definitely disagree on a whole host of subjects over the forthcoming weeks and months, but one thing remains unassailable - the New Orleans Hornets stand on the cusp of something special.