“Bumps and bruises” for Davis, Rivers?
The New Orleans Hornets undoubtedly got much better in the draft when they picked Kentucky forward Anthony Davis with the first choice and Duke guard Austin Rivers with the 10th. But the organization was quick to temper the enthusiasm over the multiple lottery picks with a cautionary note.
“These guys are 19 and they’re going to take their bumps and bruises,” general manager Dell Demps said. “But that’s a part of our development program. We’ve got a great staff, and we’re going to put them in an environment where they can continue to grow and develop.”
Nonetheless, both players will be integral parts of the Hornets upon arrival.
Demps and coach Monty Williams emphasized that shooting guard Eric Gordon, an unrestricted free agent they’re committed to retaining, will be the leader of the team next season. But Davis will anchor the defense and Rivers will provide another offensive option for a team that had limited offensive options last season.
“I think with Davis and his defensive presence, then Austin with his offensive upside is great,” Demps said. “I think with Austin’s playmaking abilities along with Eric, I’m hoping we’re going to be really hard to guard and to score on.”
One thing the Hornets didn’t get in the draft is a true center, something Demps said they will have to address in free agency or through a trade.
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