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ESPN NBA Summer Forecast: Anthony Davis #2 in MVP Running

A.D. finds himself ahead of both the 2014 and 2015 NBA MVPs for the 2016 award.

A.D. one day figures to be the first ever UK alum to be the NBA's MVP.
A.D. one day figures to be the first ever UK alum to be the NBA's MVP.
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Once NBA free agency front has quieted down and the Summer Leagues are in the books, it's time to project, forecast, and create big-picture lists until training camps open in late September or early October.  With respect to individual accolades, the most oft-discussed is, not surprisingly, the Most Valuable Player award.

For the past two seasons, beloved Kentucky Wildcats alum Anthony Davis has been in the MVP discussion, but has generally been considered outside of the upper echelon of megastars such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden.  However, we all knew that it was only a matter of time before he played himself into serious consideration for the award.  But when?

Behold the answer, at least according to NBA on ESPN's Summer Forecast:

Davis is beginning his fourth season in the NBA at only 22 years old.  Last season, he lead the NBA in PER (30.8), 2PT FG (641), BLK (200), BPG (2.9), was top 10 in a number of categories (PTS, FG%, PPG, RPG) and top 15 in REB, among others. He is a two-time NBA All-Star, and made both the All-NBA First Team and All-Defensive Second Team in 2015.  Again, remember that he's only 22.

Even if you loathe the NBA, you need to watch Davis play.  He is beyond comparison to any other current or NBA players.  Outside of LeBron James, there is not a more complete player in the world.  If the rumors are true that Davis is working on his long-range offensive game, he will be virtually unstoppable on offense.  His middle and high school experience as a guard should help him as he attempts to hone that skill.

Who's leading A.D. in the aforementioned forecast?  James, of course.  A.D. absolutely has the ability to supplant The King, however, if he can maintain or improve upon his '14-'15 numbers and lead the Pels to a playoff berth in the highly competitive Western Conference.

Even if he finds himself in second place this coming year, Davis should become the face of the NBA sooner rather than later, as his MVP competitors are only getting older.  James is almost 31, Durant nearly 27, Curry is 27, and Harden turns 26 this week.  MVP projections aside, Anthony Davis is not far from being the best basketball player in the world.