Ed Davis recently signed a two year, $2 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. That’s an incredibly low price tag for a promising young forward.
Davis was drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft by the Toronto Raptors with the 13th pick. He played well when given the opportunity in Toronto, but he was never able to log over 25 minutes per game in a season. This was especially true in Memphis, where he was only able to get about 15 minutes per game.
The Lakers probably got the biggest steal of the off-season in terms of financial savings. Paying a young player with a big upside only $2 million over two years is frankly crazy. To put this in perspective, Channing Frye is making $8 million per year over the next four years. Let that set in for a second. The better of the two players is arguably being payed $7 million less per season.
If Davis were to see significant minutes in Los Angeles, he could blossom into the player that the Raptors envisioned him being. He could have possibly even done this in Memphis, but Zach Randolph was clearly the better player. Whether or not Davis can take his game to the next level will ultimately come down to whether or not he can add muscle to his frame.
In the limited time that he did see with the Grizzlies, he did show flashes of promise:
Essentially the Lakers got one of the best financial pickups of the off-season. So if his asking price was so low, why didn’t the Grizzlies bring him back? The answer probably has to do with rookie draft pick Jarnell Stokes. Having both Davis and Stokes in the front court wouldn’t allow for either to get significant minutes. Memphis seems to envision Stokes being the successor to Z-Bo somewhere down the line, so throwing Davis into the mix could have muddled things a bit.
Bringing back Ed Davis still might have been a good option, despite having depth in the front court. Regardless, it is what it is, and congrats Lakers–you got a great deal.