The New Orleans Pelicans aren’t wasting any time announcing that Anthony Davis will continue to be the franchise’s cornerstone. Friday, New Orleans announced it was exercising its fourth-year option on Davis, a week ahead of the deadline.
Davis was the first overall pick in the 2012 Draft. New Orleans took Austin Rivers shortly thereafter, with the 10th pick of the Draft. The club has not yet picked up Rivers’ fourth year option.
The 21-year-old Davis has blossomed during his time with head coach Monty Williams and lead assistant Randy Ayers, especially in the past year.
Last season, Davis led the NBA in blocked shots, averaged 20 points per game, played in his first All-Star Game, and began emerging as a vocal locker room leader.
This summer, Davis elevated his game to another level, playing for the US FIBA Basketball World Cup team. The US won gold, and Davis won a newfound international respect. No longer was he the promising kid who was destined for greatness once he put on a little more weight and matured. Davis’ play and leadership this summer proved he has arrived.
Now, expectations are higher than ever for Davis – and the Pelicans. The combination of Davis, newly added big Omer Asik plus a clean bill of health for Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday should equate to a playoff appearance in the minds of many analysts and fans.