Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Portland Trail Blazers are prepared to sign power forward Ed Davis.
Free agent forward Ed Davis is finalizing a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
The 26-year-old Davis was the 13th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, continuing Portland's summer trend of acquiring recent former lottery picks. He's played 5 seasons in the league, bouncing between Toronto, Memphis, and most recently the Los Angeles Lakers, for whom he scored 8.3 points with 7.6 rebounds on 60% shooting from the field in 23.3 minutes per game. Fitting Portland's mold, he's an ultra-strong offensive rebounder and shows well in many advanced statistical categories. His biggest weakness: a 48.7% clip from the foul line.
Update: Woj has plenty to say about this move.
Ed Davis will sign a three-year, $20 million deal with Portland, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
Despite the Davis deal, Portland still has the ability to re-sign free agents LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez. I— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
If Portland loses Aldridge, Davis gives them a solid power forward. If Aldridge decides to return, Blazers have an even deeper frontline.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
Dave's Commentary: Wojnarowski seems to be going to great pains to have us avoid the obvious leap that signing a power forward means the Blazers won't retain Aldridge. Davis started 24 games for the Lakers last year, playing in 79, so he has some tread on him. He could go either way, starter or bench.
Kevin Pelton offers:
Ed Davis, Meyers Leonard, Mason Plumlee and Noah Vonleh is an interesting offensive group. Defensively ... an interesting offensive group.— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) July 2, 2015
Dave's Commentary: I'd say Davis is, or has the chance to be, a better defender than the other three. He's another guy whose offense comes primarily at the rim, though. Portland could field a range-heavy duo with Leonard and Vonleh or--with Al-Farouq Aminu--they could throw out a lineup consisting of Damian Lillard and 4 guys making a wall right at the rim, hoping for an offensive rebound.
For me this calls into question whether the Blazers will try to get Robin Lopez to return. It sure seems like they got younger, cheaper versions of him already. These guys are rebounders and are bound to the bucket on offense but they're more athletic and should be able to range farther on defense than Lopez. How many players of that job description do you need? Obviously they're not exact duplicates, but they feel more like replacements than companion pieces.
Our own erastus25 gives the salary implications with and without Lopez/Aldridge:
WITHOUT LOPEZ OR ALDRIDGE:
WITH LOPEZ AND ALDRIDGE:
Final Thoughts: Overall this is a pretty good pick-up. The Blazers get yet another rebounder, yet another young athlete. It sure looks like dominating the glass, bruising, and running will be on the menu next season.