Over the past 20 years there have been 10 clear franchise players taken with the first pick in the N.B.A. draft. The list includes LeBron James and Allen Iverson, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard — players who immediately became the cornerstones of their franchise, were good pros from Day 1 and gave their team a legitimate chance to win a championship.
Kentucky’s Anthony Davis is that kind of player. He is the clear No. 1 pick in a deep and talented N.B.A. draft class. He is the most dominant player in college basketball. The question is not whether Davis will be a good pro — he is going to be a perennial All-Star — but whether he will become great the way Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Duncan were.
To understand Davis’s position in the pantheon of elite players, the best comparison may be to Chris Webber. He was an abundantly talented player who never seemed quite as dominant as his talent suggested he should be.