Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Grizzlies Unlikely to Extend Ed Davis


The witching hour is upon us. The deadline for the Memphis Grizzlies to extend Ed Davis is Thursday, Halloween night. Not likely to happen, according to this tweet from Sports Illustrated and USA Today’s Sam Amik.

Based on what we’ve been reading on a significant number of websites and blogs, a lot of copy and opinion may need to be revised, as many were expecting the Grizzlies to go all in on Big Boss Man Ed Davis. Apparently not.

When Memphis preferred Darrell Arthur over Davis in last season’s playoffs, many assumed the decision was being made by Lionel Hollins – and that this season, Ed Davis would not only be the backup power forward, but also the heir apparent to Zach Randolph.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

That doesn’t seem to be the consensus opinion of the Grizzlies front office. At least not to the extent that they are all in on Ed Davis. Whether they are planning on Zach Randolph striking a deal with Father Time (or the devil, or wherever he can buy a couple more productive years of playing time), or counting on Kosta Koufos to contribute at both backup center and power forward, they are not biting on the chance to resign Davis based on potential. It looks like they will make him earn it through solid play this season. Given Davis’ lack of improvement in any area over the summer, this looks like the right move by the Grizz.

Looks like the Grizzlies are content to let this season play out, so, they will take their chances in restricted free agency next summer.

According to both Sam Amick at USA Today and Chuck Myron at HoopsRumors, the two sides have been negotiating a deal, but for now, it doesn’t appear they’ll reach an agreement. At this point, it appears Davis is headed for restricted free agency in the summer.

Memphis acquired the 6’10″ left-hander from the Raptors in last season’s Rudy Gay trade, and Amick reported shortly thereafter that the Grizzlies saw Davis as part of their future. Still, there hadn’t been much chatter about an extension until the past week, when Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported that talks have been taking place this month, and categorized an extension for Davis as “probable”.

The Raptors drafted Davis 13th overall out of North Carolina in 2010, but his minutes per game have declined each season since he saw 24.6 MPG in his rookie year. The Grizzlies significantly reduced his role after the trade, plugging him in for only 15.1 MPG in the regular season and 6.0 MPG in the playoffs, preferring Darrell Arthur as the primary backup big man.

Memphis traded Arthur for Kosta Koufos in the offseason. Koufos will likely see plenty of time backing up Marc Gasol, but may also see minutes at power forward on the floor alongside Gasol, making it difficult to envision much of a jump in minutes for Davis. The 24-year-old’s value doesn’t figure to escalate if he’s tied to the bench, so the Grizzlies probably stand to benefit from waiting to do a deal.

Tags: Ed Davis Memphis Grizzlies

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