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Former Memphis Grizzly Ed Davis Signs 2 Year $2 Million Deal with the L.A. Lakers

There are bargains. There are steals. Then there is Ed Davis, who will take his skills to L.A. Lakers from Memphis for $1 million.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Davis' time as a Grizzly was a disaster at worst, controversial at best. The much-maligned "Power Forward of the Future" who was supposedly the key piece of the Rudy Gay trade with Toronto showed brilliance in flashes, but those moments, and consistent minutes, were too few and far between. When the renouncing of Davis' free agency rights by Memphis occurred it caught few (if any) Grizzlies' fans and writers by surprise. This is because of...

  1. His lackluster performances off the bench and the re-signing of Zach Randolph all but confirming Davis would be a bench player again.
  2. Kosta Koufos being a more effective bench big than Ed, likely making him at best the 4th big on Memphis's roster averaging 10-12 minutes a night if that.
  3. Surely Ed Davis, at the age of 25, with success in Toronto and in meaningful minutes in Memphis, would cost too much to keep as the 4th big on the roster.

Memphians bid adieu, good bye, good luck and in some cases good riddance. Rumors of Ed going to the Clippers made some nervous (myself included), and then a late-night WojBomb went off as Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski tweet out this.

Dodged a bullet. Not the Clippers, but a likely good fit to be sure in terms of playing time for Ed Davis as a possible 3rd big off the bench behind Jordan Hill and the Lakers 1st round pick Julius Randle. This wasn't it from Woj, though...


Let's do some per-36 minutes statistical comparisons from the 2013-2014 NBA season:

Player A: 55% Shooting Percentage, 62% Free Throw Percentage, 11.4 Points, 8.8 Rebounds, 1.5  Assists, 1 Steal, 1 Block

Player B: 53.4% Shooting Percentage, 52.8% Free Throw Percentage, 13.4 Points, 9.8 Rebounds, 1 Assist, .6 Steal, 1.6 Blocks


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Player A is Trevor Booker, who just signed a 2 year deal with the Utah Jazz worth $10 million. Player B is Ed Davis, who is taller, younger, longer and more athletic than Booker and has comparable per-36 minute stats to him. Also, as stated in my "Forever Young" piece about Ed's lack of growth in his game, Davis is an elite rim-protector boasting similar shooting percentage at the rim against him numbers as Serge Ibaka, Roy Hibbert and Andre Drummond.

So, how in the world is this possible? How is a player with the skill and...potential...of Ed Davis getting paid so little in an off-season filled with "overpaid" players?

Davis likely has scared teams with his inability to crack the rotation due to his off the bench issues in Memphis, while a player such as Booker has shown productivity in that role. Another possible reason connects to this last tweet from Woj...

Ed Davis appears to be betting on himself. Ed will be in a large media market in Los Angeles and will get more consistent minutes in a lesser front court with the Lakers. That player option allows for him to opt out after a great season if he sees fit to find greener pastures elsewhere. Less money up front, but a chance to improve his stock and try the market again next off-season.

"Boss" Davis' future is in his hands. He will have more opportunity with the Lakers than he would ever have had in Memphis to showcase his unique skill set. Hopefully he takes advantage.