Tic. Toc. Tic. Toc. The NBA Trade Deadline is just around the corner and the Portland Trail Blazers may look to make a deal before time runs out on February 8. Outside of two or three players, the roster is filled with what can be coldly termed ‘non-essential personnel.’ As President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey examines options for the franchise to move forward financially, the reality that basketball is a business is beginning to set in. Center Ed Davis indicated as much to Jason Quick of NBC Sports NW:
“I talked about it with my lady last night,’’ Davis said. “There’s a good chance that something could happen. We have to be prepared for it.’’
Davis, 28, may be of particular interest to other teams for a few reasons. He is efficient, experienced, brings energy off the bench, and is a 2018 unrestricted free agent – everything a contender needs to make a push and then clear the books. He is, however, so seemingly movable because these traits make him a valuable contributor here in Portland.
Teammate Damian Lillard sees ‘Shirt Off Ed’ as an indispensable element of the team’s culture, likening him to past and present household names of the Miami Heat:
“Look man, for me, the same way D-Wade was in Miami all those years and Udonis Haslem was there because he brought something to the team nobody else had … that’s how I feel about Ed,” Lillard said. “I always want Ed to be on my team. That’s the best way I can put it. I always want him on my team.”
Logistically speaking, trading Davis at the deadline makes a lot of sense. The Trail Blazers are flooded with young big men and, if they are prepared to lose him this summer for salary reasons, they could look to get something back while they can, likely in the form of draft assets.
So although Davis is a fan favorite and Lillard has expressed his desire to continue playing with his teammate (as a good leader should), there exists a possibility that the team will have to forge on without him in the near future.
Davis has been dealt ahead of the deadline once before in his career, as part of the three-team trade that sent Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors in 2013. It is Davis’ preference to stay with his current team.
“I say it all the time – this is where I want to be,” Davis said. “When the season is over hopefully we can get a deal that works for both of us. I love the organization, I’m comfortable with the city. This is where I want to be. But at the end of the day, I understand it’s a business and there’s a lot that comes into play. But I’ve been around a little bit, and I know what I like, and what I don’t like. Being here is something I like.”
To read Quick’s full article, follow this link.