Ed Davis

Ed Davis Discusses Friday’s Call, His Stance On Restart Plan

Jazz center Ed Davis was among the 80-plus players on last Friday’s conference call, which saw a number of players – including Kyrie Irving – express their concerns about resuming the 2019/20 season amid the ongoing pandemic and the fight for social justice in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Speaking to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, Davis expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement, though he questioned whether sitting out in protest this summer was the best way to advance the cause. Pointing out that refusing to play this summer could compromise the league’s financial situation in 2020/21 and beyond, Davis argued that forgoing all that money would be counterproductive for a league made up predominantly of black players.

“Us missing the rest of this season, we’re talking about billions and billions of dollars for the black community because a lot of guys in the NBA are black men from the inner cities and things like that,” Davis said. “So, the way I look at it, we have to play for that simple fact. I saw Stephen Jackson say that we can’t play because it’s going to be a distraction. Yeah, it’s going to be a distraction, but we can take that money – those billions and billions of dollars – that we’re going to make and pour it back in the community. You can look at it like that – that us losing out on that money would hurt generations of people.

“For me, I make $5MM a year and I’m taking a 25% pay cut, so I’m losing around $30K every two weeks. That’s hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that’s what is creating generational wealth and that’s what is really going to help the black community. I don’t know if guys are looking at it like that. But that’s just my perspective and the reason why I think we need to play.”

Mentioning Irving and Dwight Howard specifically, Davis pointed out that some of the players who have been most outspoken about focusing on social-justice causes rather than returning to play are already set for life financially. Davis noted that the players’ union has to listen to what the league’s younger and lesser-paid players are saying too, acknowledging that there are a wide variety of perspectives on the issues to consider.

Davis also provided some additional details on Friday’s call and expressed a few more opinions on where things stand with the NBA and its players, as well as what he thinks will happen next. His conversation with Kennedy is worth checking out in full at HoopsHype, but here are a few more notable quotes from the veteran big man:

On the difference of opinions during Friday’s call:

“There were 80 guys on the call and maybe 10 who spoke, and of the guys who spoke, it was probably 50/50 – only half said that we might need to take a stand and that playing might not be the best idea.

“… Obviously, it’s a tough situation; we’re in a pandemic. But this is when we really have to stick together and really use our platform and really make a difference. I think that we have so many resources through the NBA and working with the NBA, that’s how we’re gonna make things happen. Taking a stand and not playing, I just don’t think that’s going to better the situation. I guess it might be a little distraction, but it’s on us to turn that distraction into a positive thing.”

On whether he’s confident that the season will resume next month as planned:

“Yeah, I’m about 99.9% sure that we’ll finish the season. I know a couple guys from the Jazz have concerns, but in our group chat when we talk, everybody’s on board and we’re ready to play. We’re hoping that we can start doing contact stuff soon. So the team I play on, we’re ready to go. I don’t know how it is for some of these other teams. But I’ve played with so many different guys in the NBA and I talk to so many different guys and, for the most part, guys want to play.”

On what he’d like to see happen if the restart moves forward as planned:

“I do think if we play and go to Orlando, we can sit down with Commissioner (Adam) Silver and figure out something that we really can do so that these people who are getting murdered on camera can get the justice that they deserve. … We’re in crazy times; we’re in a pandemic and black guys are being murdered on camera. And then (the cops) are going home on paid leave, which is not right. That definitely has to change, and this change is not going to happen over a week, over a month or over a year. This is going to take decades. It’s going to take the people who are in their 20s and raising kids to stop the hatred and stop the racism. That’s what it’s going to take.

“So, I’m not with the quick fixes or emotional decisions; they never really work out well. When you have a plan and find a solution, that’s when you get the most success and that’s when good things happen. I think with (NBPA president Chris Paul), (NBPA executive director) Michele (Roberts) and Adam Silver, they’re gonna do that.”

Jazz Rumors: Trade Market, Davis, Carroll, Conley

The Jazz probably won’t do anything too drastic at this week’s trade deadline, but they’d like to “upgrade around the margins” if possible, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic. Having already dealt Dante Exum and a pair of second-round picks for Jordan Clarkson, Utah no longer has as many expendable assets that could be included in a trade, but would “jump” at any opportunity to improve its roster, says Jones.

One player who could be on the block is Ed Davis. As Jones points out, things haven’t worked out for Davis in Utah so far — he’s averaged a career-worst 1.3 PPG and 3.8 RPG in 25 games (10.7 MPG). The veteran center would like to play more and the Jazz are open to moving him, according to Jones. However, if they can’t find a trade they like, the two sides figure to move forward together, since a buyout isn’t a realistic option due to the big man’s guaranteed $5MM+ salary for 2020/21.

Here’s more from Jones on the Jazz:

  • Utah’s front office has at least “superficially” discussed the idea of targeting veteran forward DeMarre Carroll, who is on the trade block in San Antonio. Jones notes that there’s uncertainty about how much Carroll has left in the tank, given his down year with the Spurs.
  • Sources tell The Athletic that the Jazz don’t want to move any “core” players. That group includes Mike Conley, who is unlikely to be discussed at all in trade talks this week, according to Jones.
  • If the Jazz don’t end up doing anything by the trade deadline, they’d like to be active on the buyout market, Jones writes.

Injury Updates: Kyrie, McGruder, E. Davis, Fall

After missing Wednesday’s game in Boston, Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has also been ruled out of Friday’s rematch with the Celtics in Brooklyn, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. Irving, who continues to deal with a right shoulder impingement, will miss his eighth consecutive game as a result of the injury.

The Nets and Celtics face one another four times this season, but the next two games won’t take place until after the All-Star break. Irving’s first opportunity to play his old team will be on March 3, when the Nets travel to Boston again for a prime-time showdown on TNT.

The Nets did get some good injury news on Thursday, as the team announced that center DeAndre Jordan has been listed as probable for Friday’s game vs. the Celtics after missing Brooklyn’s last two contests.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Rodney McGruder, who has been playing a regular rotation role for the Clippers during the team’s seven-game winning streak, has been ruled out of Friday’s game vs. San Antonio after suffering a right hamstring strain on Wednesday, per the team. As Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register details, head coach Doc Rivers is prepared to be without McGruder “for a while,” though the club has yet to announce any sort of timeline for the swingman’s recovery.
  • Veteran center Ed Davis appears to be nearing a return for the Jazz. Davis, who was diagnosed with a fractured fibula nearly four weeks ago, has been upgraded to questionable for Utah’s game in Memphis on Friday, tweets Ben Dowsett of Forbes.
  • Celtics rookie big man Tacko Fall was diagnosed with a right knee bone bruise this week while playing for the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s G League affiliate (Twitter link). Fall is off to a good start in Maine, with 15.0 PPG, 10.8 RPG, and 2.7 BPG in six games (24.0 MPG), but he’ll miss at least the next week or two, according to the team.

Jazz Lose Ed Davis With Fractured Fibula

Ed Davis suffered a fractured left fibula in Friday’s loss at Sacramento, the Jazz announced on Twitter. Davis’ condition will be re-evaluated in four weeks.

Utah was counting on Davis to provide frontcourt depth when it signed him to a two-year deal this summer worth more than $10MM. He has appeared in all six games so far, averaging 1.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in about 12 minutes per night.

The Jazz are the sixth team in 10 years for the 30-year-old power forward/center, who spent last season with the Nets.

Northwest Notes: Layman, Nurkic, Davis, Grant

The Timberwolves‘ sign-and-trade deal for Jake Layman didn’t earn any accolades as one of the summer’s key moves, but Layman’s new team can’t stop raving about him, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. As Krawczynski explains, Minnesota loves Layman’s athleticism, his ability to play multiple positions, and the way he can complement star player Karl-Anthony Towns.

“A lot of our offensive creativity is going to be with Karl and the ball in his hands, whether that’s top of the key in a lot of our series or even at the elbows or even out of the post,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said. “Guys that can space the floor, run the floor, cut away from the basket with high IQs are going to be important for us. A guy like Jake Layman can really do that and has done that throughout his career.”

It remains to be seen whether Layman will come off the bench or if he’ll crack the starting lineup alongside Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Robert Covington, and Jeff Teague. Either way, he figures to play a regular role in the Timberwolves’ rotation after being acquired in July from their division rivals in Portland.

Let’s round up a few more Northwest notes…

  • Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who continues to rehab after breaking his leg last season, won’t be available to start the season, but says his leg has been pain-free for several months, per Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Portland’s head of basketball operations Neil Olshey said this week that he’s being “purposefully vague” about the big man’s recovery timeline, since the team wants to avoid “Nurk Watch 2019.”
  • Ed Davis won’t be able to fully replicate Derrick Favors‘ skill set as the Jazz‘s new backup center, but Davis believes he can provide value to his new team in his own way, as Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune relays. “I’m gonna be myself — I’m not here to replace [Favors], I’m coming here to be myself, I’m gonna do what I do,” Davis said. “Being available, for one; being consistent; toughness; I’m gonna give it all I got. I’m not the most skilled player, but I’d say I’m one of the toughest players in the league, so you’re gonna get that every night.”
  • New Nuggets forward Jerami Grant, who said at Media Day that he’s not worried about what his exact role will be for his new team, acknowledged that he wasn’t too broken up about being traded by the retooling Thunder, according to Kyle Fredrickson of The Denver Post. “I don’t think (the trade) was too difficult,” Grant said. “It was almost good to get out of a sinking ship.”
  • Robert Covington admitted this week that his physical health issues last season affected his mental health, telling reporters – including Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune – that he saw a therapist to deal with his frustration at being sidelined. Heading into a new season, the Timberwolves forward says he’s feeling good both physically and mentally.

And-Ones: Lillard, Role Players, Seattle, Lawson

During a recent appearance on The Joe Budden Podcast (h/t to Dan Feldman of NBC Sports), Trail Blazers superstar point guard Damian Lillard, who recently signed a super-max extension to stay in Portland through 2025, explains his thoughts as to why more players don’t do the same.

“I think people walk away from it because of the media… the outside influence, people talking about their legacy… so (the players) say, ‘It’s not about the money. I want to win the championship. And I want to do this.”

“But I don’t think just because you decide to stay and not pass up on that money, that don’t mean you ain’t trying to win it. When you’re 42 years old and your career [is] over, and you ain’t won it, anyway, and you walked away from 60 million dollars more than what you got, they ain’t even going to be talking about you then. The joke is going to be on you.”

Lillard’s point is an interesting one, and it begs the question as to how many players eligible for a super-max turned it down for this reason. Even though he won a championship in Toronto, Kawhi Leonard almost certainly did not. But, it’s conceivable Anthony Davis felt pressure to leave the Pelicans because outside influences convinced him he couldn’t win a title in New Orleans and that outcome would be bad for his legacy.

We have more content from around the basketball world, below:

  • Quinn Davis of Basketball Insiders takes a look at three role players who could make an impact on a team with championship aspirations next season: Sixers forward James Ennis, Clippers forward Maurice Harkless, and Jazz big man Ed Davis.
  • Newly inducted Hall-of-Famer, big man Jack Sikma, said during his induction speech last night that it’s time for the NBA to return to Seattle, writes Anthony Olivieri of ESPN. “Speaking for all Sonics fans, it’s our great hope that the NBA will soon find a pathway to bring a franchise back to Seattle. It’s time.”
  • The Xinjang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association are considering the signing of former NBA guard Ty Lawson because Ian Clark cannot report to the team yet due to an injury, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Northwest Notes: Murray, Wolves, Jazz, Thunder

Jamal Murray‘s new five-year, maximum-salary extension with the Nuggets will start at 25% of the cap if the standout guard doesn’t make an All-NBA team in 2019/20, which would make the deal worth $169.65MM based on the league’s current cap projections.

However, as Bobby Marks of ESPN outlines (via Twitter), the two sides agreed to include Rose Rule language in Murray’s new deal, which would increase the value of the contract in the event that he has a huge ’19/20 season. If Murray earns All-NBA honors in 2020, his starting salary would be worth 26% (Third Team), 27.5% (Second Team), or 30% (First Team) of the cap.

That means Murray’s five-year extension could have a value as high as $203.58MM if he makes the All-NBA First Team or wins the MVP award next season, which is a long shot. A spot on the Second Team would result in a deal worth a total of $186.62MM, while a Third Team nod would bump the total value to $176.44MM.

As we wait to see if Murray can have a breakout year and insert himself into the All-NBA discussion, here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • With Tom Thibodeau no longer in the picture in Minnesota, the Timberwolves project to have a deeper rotation to start the 2019/20 season than they did a year ago. Still, as Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune writes, with so many young, hungry players on the roster, there should be some interesting position and rotation battles in training camp this fall.
  • Upon being introduced by the Jazz on Friday, veterans Ed Davis and Jeff Green said they chose Utah because they view the team as a team capable of competing for a championship, as Aaron Falk of UtahJazz.com relays.
  • In a pair of stories, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman and Brett Dawson of The Athletic explore whether Sam Presti‘s references to “repositioning” and “replenishing” – rather than “rebuilding” – the Thunder is merely semantics, or if it provides a clue for how the process in Oklahoma City might play out.

Ed Davis Signs Two-Year Deal With Jazz

JULY 20, 8:03am: The signing is official, according to NBA.com’s transactions log.

JUNE 30, 9:20pm: The Jazz have agreed to sign big man Ed Davis to a two-year deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com passes along via Twitter. Davis will make $10MM over the next two seasons.

Utah will use the room exception to sign Davis, which is the same type of deal the big man inked last summer in Brooklyn. Davis was our Room Exception MVP, as I broke down in our contract awards.

Davis had previously stated that the financials would likely dictate his destination in free agency. “First is the money…Then, two is fit,” Davis said last month.

The Jazz agreed to a contract with Bojan Bogdanovic earlier in the day, reaching a four-year, $73MM deal with the wing. The team is expected to either trade or waive Derrick Favors in order to accommodate the signing. Davis will help Utah fortify its big man rotation.

Sixers Notes: Horford, Brogdon, Butler

It’s not a given that the Sixers bring back their five starters this offseason.

Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris will each have rival teams looking to offer them a max deal. J.J. Redick will likely see heavy interest on the market as well, with Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer hearing that shooting guard will yield offers in the range of $12MM annually.

“They have tough decisions to make and so do we,” GM Elton Brand said.

Bringing back those three players will put the Sixers over the salary cap and out of contention for a number of free agents. Should the team decide to make major changes, there’s a wide range of talent on the market.

“We definitely need hard-nose players, shooting,” Brand said. “We want to add shooting. If you watch the playoffs, these are playoff-tested players … I don’t want to say names … but [the Sixers want] veteran-tested players, playoff-tested players that can take us over the edge with our talent.”

Al Horford, Malcolm Brogdon, and Danny Green are players the team could have interest in Pompey adds.

Here’s more on Philadelphia and the team’s pending free agents:

  • Don’t be surprised if the Clippers make a play to sign Harris, Pompey notes. The combo forward, who came to the Sixers via a midseason trade with the club, will be taking meetings on June 30 and July 1.
  • The Sixers may have to offer a five-year deal in order to keep Jimmy Butler, Pompey writes. Butler and his camp are meeting this week to go over free agent objectives.
  • Marcus Morris, Ed Davis, Ish Smith, Cory Joseph, and Patrick Beverley are among the free agents whom the Sixers could pursue, Pompey adds in the same piece. The team has confidence in its ability to lure one or two impactful free agents should it lose one of its max free agents.
  • Derek Bodner of the Athletic details how the Sixers are devaluing second-round picks. The team will have three more second-rounders next year after wheeling and dealing picks last week, as I recently detailed.
  • Furkan Korkmaz may join Turkish team Fenerbahce next season, according to Sportando. The former No. 26 overall pick is all but certain not to be back in Philadelphia next year.

Eastern Notes: Davis, Knicks, Wizards

Ed Davis knows what he wants in free agency, as he tells Michael Scotto of The Athletic.

“First is the money,” Davis said. “Then, two is fit. Then, if it’s a playoff team or a non-playoff team or an old team or young team. Whatever fits best for you. The last thing I guess is the city, but for sure a guy like me is definitely the money for sure.

“A lot of guys won’t say it, but trust me, 99.9 percent of the guys it’s about money just like for your job. You’re going where the money is at. People look at us athletes and think that we’re not supposed to take what’s best for us. It’s definitely about the money.”

Davis played for the Nets last season under a one-year deal worth slightly under $4.45MM. Brooklyn signed him via the room exception and Davis received Hoops Rumors’ award for the best player on that type of deal.

“Hopefully I get a pay raise,” Davis said. “Don’t we all want a pay raise? I’ve been talking to my agent, and we’ll see what’s going to happen in July. Hopefully, I’m back in Brooklyn. But if not, I definitely enjoyed my time there, and I appreciate every minute that I had in Brooklyn. I’m still working out there every day right now. We’ll see what happens. It’s a business. You know how it goes.”

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Davis wants the Nets to pass up on Kyrie Irving and bring back D’Angelo Russell, as Scotto passes along (same piece). “I don’t know if them two [Irving and Russell] can work or however it’s going to go,” Davis said.  “I thought D’Angelo did a hell of a job, and I thought he was going to be the starting point guard for the future for Brooklyn, but like I said, you know how things go. That’s why Sean and Kenny [Atkinson) get paid the big bucks to figure out things like that. I wish it was D’Angelo and I hope things work out for him. They will, but I don’t know Kyrie, so I’m all for DLo.” 
  • The Knicks are not expected to pursue second-tier max free agents if they strike out on the top stars, Brian Windhorst said on ESPN (video link). “I don’t expect them to chase a Tobias Harris or Khris Middleton type of player, or Jimmy Butler. I think they’re going to try to get Durant and if they can’t get Durant, they’re going to move on with RJ Barrett as the centerpiece of their team moving forward,” Windhorst said.
  • Windhorst hears (separate video link) that the Wizards were interested in Toronto executive Masai Ujiri but will not pursue him, echoing what owner Ted Leonsis said recently.
  • Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post wonders what is going on in the Wizards‘ front office. The team doesn’t currently have a team president and doesn’t plan on adding one before free agency begins.