Mar 24, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Ed Davis (32) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham (33) as Grizzlies center Kosta Koufus (41) looks on during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

All hail the return of....Ed Davis!?

Apr 6, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Ed Davis (32) dunks the ball during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. The Spurs won 112-92. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

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.





Tags: Ed Davis Memphis Grizzlies Toronto Raptors

  • Take it in

    No no no like him but no all I see is bad plays and turn overs

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Tii:
      Sometimes players just don’t fit a team. Ed had some fine games in our town, but not many in Memphis. He’s mistake-prone, it’s true, but maybe more minutes will help him calm down.
      I think the chance of adding a veteran big man is worth exploring.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • ShadowXL

    Ed Davis is a serviceable player. I like him. However, will he have too much bench rot on him, being a young player? Given Casey’s rotation patterns, it wouldn’t make sense for Davis to return unless one of Johnson (not likely), Patman (least likely), Hansbrough (fairly likely) or Hayes (most likely) was not returning. Also, can the Raptors do better than Ed Davis? I think they could do worse, so if he’s available, I say grab him. However, Toronto needs veterans first and foremost.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi ShadowXL:
      “Bench rot”! I like it! Yes, it’s very possible Ed has lost his mojo after almost 2 seasons as a virtual spectator. But I think he’s a quality human being who will appreciate being thrown a professional lifeline.
      Yes, we could certainly do worse than him, perhaps a lot worse.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Guy

    No, just no.

    Ed was a nice player & fine fellow, but the goal is to upgrade the PF position with a player that allows Amir to come off the bench. Davis doesn’t come close to accomplishing that. As well, he’s a former Raptor. In my opinion, the team shouldn’t be looking at former employees as solutions.

    Between the two, I’ll take Hansbro. He’s banger in the paint & draws a lot of fouls. Before criticizing him for poor finishing skills & no jump shot, it needs to be remembered he averaged 21ppg his senior year & is still the ACC’s leading scorer. Plus, he’s less expensive than Davis with a contract that expires after next season.

    I endorse adding a veteran big, but Ed Davis doesn’t fit that definition. To me, a veteran big is not a 24 year old player that has averaged less than 5 mpg in his two stints in the playoffs.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Guy:
      Tyler is something of a mystery. How a high scorer like him could lose his shot is hard to figure, but he certainly wouldn’t be the first college player who couldn’t transition to the pros. Jimmer Fredette anyone?
      Your point about former players coming back is interesting. I’m not sure I wholeheartedly concur, but I can’t refute it either.
      We certainly agree that we’d rather see Amir coming off the bench. I’ll continue to search for serviceable power forwards we can trade for, but there aren’t a lot hanging around.
      Thanks for commenting.