x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

NBA: Hornets set to swoop for Anthony Davis in draft

University of Kentucky playmaker is number one target for New Orleans while Michael Jordan's Charlotte Bobcats look to strengthen after woeful season.

University of Kentucky forward Anthony Davis is expected to be a top draft pick.
University of Kentucky forward Anthony Davis is expected to be a top draft pick.

University of Kentucky freshman playmaker Anthony Davis is expected to be snapped up by the New Orleans Hornets as the top selection in tomorrow's NBA Draft.

The annual allocation of top unclaimed talent by NBA teams allows teams that finished worst to have the top choice of young talent, a bid to help create parity and provide hope to struggling clubs such as the Hornets and the Charlotte Bobcats.

New Orleans made moves to prepare for signing the hottest young prospect, sending forwards Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to Washington in a trade to escape long-term salaries.

Rashard Lewis, whom they obtained in the deal, will likely be cut to save money under NBA salary cap rules as well, adding more money with which to sign Davis, last season's US collegiate player of the year.

The Bobcats, will be happy with any help they can get from the second overall pick as the club owned by retired NBA superstar Michael Jordan comes off the worst season in NBA history, a woeful 7-59 campaign.

The side, which lost the final 23 games of last season, had a .106 win percentage that was worse than the 65-year-old NBA futility mark of 9-73 by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who managed a .110 win percentage.

Charlotte had the best odds of keeping the top pick in the NBA Draft Lottery last month but lost out to the Hornets.

Washington will select third followed by Cleveland, Sacramento, Portland, Golden State, Toronto and Detroit. The Hornets also pick 10th.

Meanwhile NBA commissioner David Stern has awarded the Boston Celtics a second-round selection in next year's NBA Draft from the Oklahoma City to settle a year-old dispute over Jeff Green.

An NBA statement said Stern found no evidence of bad theft or intent to withhold information on the part of Thunder management or doctors.

But he also found team cardiologists knew information about Jeff Green that was not shared with team officials and should have rightfully been disclosed to the Celtics in connection with Green's trade to them in February of last year.

Green underwent heart surgery this past January and did not play during the 2011-2012 season.

NBA rules require teams to disclose to each other information in their possession or control about a player's prior injuries, illnesses or other health conditions that could have an effect on their future performance.