Anthony Davis Draft Pick Would Make the Pistons an Instant Contender: Fan’s Take

The Detroit Pistons may seem light years away from contending in the Eastern Conference, but one player in particular could change everything if the ping pong balls fall the team's way this summer.

Anthony Davis, the Kentucky Wildcats big man who just won the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, has exactly what the franchise needs to turn things around in a hurry, and not only is he a mercurial talent, he also fits in perfectly with the current Detroit roster.

Yes, he's just 19 years old and he's projected to go number one, a pick which Detroit has only a minor chance of getting, but it's fair for long-starving Pistons fans to go ahead and dream about what he might bring to the team if luck happens to be on our side.

While the Pistons have been so frustrating to watch that I haven't watched them with anywhere near the level of attention I usually do, Davis would make them a must-watch squad again. Not only that, but he would instantly shore up many of their biggest weaknesses as a ball club.

Simply put, Detroit needs shot-blocking and athleticism on its front line more than anything and Davis is the most athletic big man with the best shot-blocking ability to come out in decades. The Pistons also have just enough leadership and experience to be able to tutor him and bring him along next year to the point where he should be mature enough by mid-season to lead them on a major run not just for the playoffs, but for seeding as well.

Putting an athletic shot blocker like Davis next to Greg Monroe, one of the most underrated power forwards in the game and a steady player whose skill set would be complemented well by Davis would all of a sudden give Detroit one of the best front lines in the league.

Sure, Davis has a lot of maturing to do, as he clearly is something of a man-child at this point whose offensive game and body need some work. But his strengths are so overwhelming that some are already calling him a potential all-time great at center before his NBA career has begun.

I saw him block shots in the title game from angles that I've never seen before, and you can't put a price on that kind of defensive intimidation.

With the Indiana Pacers a fairly shaky third contender in the Eastern Conference and other franchises like Boston and Orlando slipping and making way for new blood at the top of the standings, there's a major opening for Detroit. Davis would vault them up the ladder.

Of course this is all a major hypothetical and a pipe dream perhaps, and Davis hasn't even declared for the draft just yet, although he's almost certain to do so.

But Pistons fans like me can still dream about what would be the biggest development for the franchise since the Rasheed Wallace trade. While there are other big men likely to be in the draft such as Andre Drummond and Arnett Moultrie, who the Pistons are projected to take by, the only true game-changer would be Davis.

I keep telling myself that stranger things have happened than the Pistons miraculously grabbing the first pick, but we'll have to wait and see. With the Pistons having won five of six down the stretch, the chances are becoming even more remote. That's part of the reason why I secretly wanted them to "tank" earlier this year, and now that Davis is out there, it's frustrating that they didn't (although you can't fault them for having pride).

But it's fun to daydream about seeing Davis in Pistons red white and blue, and you can't tell me that fans of the other non-playoff teams aren't doing the same thing right about now. The Pistons were unfortunate enough to land the number two spot in 2003 where they ended up pulling the massive "Joker card" that was Darko Milicic, so maybe this time fate will smile on Joe Dumars and company.

Nick Meyer is a lifelong Pistons fan from Metro Detroit.

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Updated Friday, Apr 6, 2012