Since day one, Ed Davis has been the odd man out on this Toronto Raptors squad.
I remember sitting in front of my television set during the 2010 NBA Draft and wondering what exactly the Raptors were going to do with their 13th overall pick.
Players like Paul George, Gordon Hayward and Xavier Henry were all hovering around Toronto's pick in many a mock draft. The draft was so wide-open that anything really could have happened after pick number one. It was a complete toss-up as to who was going to be available when number 13 came around.
All three of those players jumped up the board that night, as a certain 6'10 power forward out of North Carolina fell into Toronto's lap.
There's no doubt Davis was an intriguing prospect. He put up decent numbers in his last year with the Tar Heels, averaging 12.9 points on 57 per cent shooting, as well as 9.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocks a game. Here was a guy who was projected to be a top-five pick in 2009 if he had elected to enter the draft.
And with Chris Bosh on the first train out of town, many Raptors fans saw the future at the power forward position for Toronto.
I certainly did.
That's changed though.
It's safe to say that the Ed Davis experiment has been a disappointment so far, however all of the blame can't be placed on his shoulders.
He isn't a good fit for this roster. Heck, I don't think he ever was.
For starters there are too many bigs on this team gobbling up the precious minutes needed for Ed to develop on the court. You have Andrea Bargnani, and Amir Johnson, and now Jonas Valanciunas (making his debut this season after spending 2011-12 in Lithuania.) Add in other likes Aaron Gray and even Linas Kleiza at the 4 and 5 spots and there just hasn't been much opportunity for Eddie.
And Ed hasn't exactly performed well enough to ensure that it's him getting these much-needed minutes. Ed saw his numbers drop across the board from his rookie season to last year. His points dipped from 7.7 to 6.3 a game, his rebounds from 7.1 to 6.6, and his shooting percentage from 57.1 per cent to 51.3 per cent. He even managed to see less playing time (24:36 to 23:11 minutes a game) during a season in which Andrea Bargnani played less than half of the team's total games.
It also doesn't help that Davis is a tad small to play the power forward position effectively at the NBA level. At 6'10 and a little over 230 pounds, Ed can't contend with the bigger, stronger forwards of the league and that's a fact. He can't hold his position down low in the paint and when he does choose to take the ball to the rim on offense, he gets muscled around like a rag doll.
I am in no way writing this piece to devalue Ed Davis as a basketball player. The kid has some talent. He can rebound, pass out of the post and plays well in transition.
It's just a shame that he's so young and raw and this roster is so crowded that Davis adds little to no value to these Toronto Raptors, at least in the present.
So what future does Davis have in Toronto?
He doesn't have one.
If any one player on the roster is going to use 2013 as a year to develop into the next big thing for this franchise, it's Valanciunas.
The time is now to see what kind of value Ed can present on the open market. His youth and future potential could bring in an asset or two. A team looking to rebuild from the ground up and give PT to some up-and-comers could see Davis as someone to bring on.
But I don't think his future lies here in Toronto. Davis needed to make a bigger impact than he did last season, and now I feel that ship has sailed.
This isn't the right environment for him, and frankly, I don't know if it will ever be....
So what do you think? Is Ed Davis worth keeping around for the foreseeable future? Is he someone you would like to see traded away? What are your thoughts on Davis and his first two years in Toronto?
- Lead Editor of "Sir Charles in Charge"