Fans of the Toronto Raptors probably remember where they were when Jose Calderon and Ed Davis were dealt away for (in essence) Rudy Gay. Most of the anguish centred around the beloved Calderon, who improved enormously during his time in Toronto and is still a significant contributor in Dallas. However, there were lots of us who were disappointed to lose Ed, who had become a useful member of the front court. He ended up in Memphis where, due to the presence of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, his minutes have disappeared, and his career has languished. Now he’s a restricted free agent, which means the Raps can sign him once they tender him an offer sheet and 3 days pass without Memphis matching. The consensus of opinion is the Grizzlies won’t. At around $4.3M per season, he’s not outrageously expensive. I suspect he would welcome a chance to return to Toronto, where his career began in 2010, but is he worth bothering with?
Ed is a mobile left-handed “classic” Power Forward, with no great strength or weakness in his game. He has tried to develop some one-on-one moves, and succeeded to the extent possible for someone who can only go to his left. He has solid hops, is a reasonable defender, and possesses a respectable if not deadly jump shot to about 15 feet. While he’s not as physical as Tyler Hansbrough (who is?), Ed is more effective as a finisher in the putback crowd beneath the basket. Ed suffers badly when asked to perform spot duty, though he’s quite effective when averaging 20+ minutes per game. That concerns me as he certainly would not be a lock to replace Amir Johnson as a starter. Can Ed take Patrick Patterson’s minutes, assuming 2-Pat is still on the roster? To me, that’s the key to the puzzle. I would rather have 2-Pat, but if he’s not around, Ed would be an adequate replacement. Unlike how I feel about Tristan Thompson, I don’t like the idea of Ed trying to co-exist with Patterson and Johnson. I’d rather have Hansbrough, despite his glaring shortcomings (poor finishing skills, no jump shot, too many fouls). He can contribute in short stints, unlike Davis.
So there it is – if all 3 of this year’s PFs are returning, I wouldn’t make a play for Ed. If Patterson doesn’t return, then I’d keep Hansbrough and Johnson, and get an offer sheet in front of Davis.
Once again, I appeal to you, Rapture Nation, for opinions. Would Ed Davis’ return help our team? Comments welcome.