Ed Davis and Los Angeles Lakers Betting Their Future on Each Other

The Los Angeles Lakers stepped up to the betting window this summer and placed a modest wager on Ed Davis, signing the 25-year-old center/power forward to a two-year $2 million contract.

That’s small potatoes compared to what he gave up a year ago.

As Dave McMenamin wrote for ESPN LA in late July, Davis turned down a reported $20 million contract extension from the Memphis Grizzlies and ultimately became an unrestricted free agent.

The young frontcourt player isn’t voicing any second thoughts, however, saying, “No regrets at all. Everything happens for a reason. I’m not trying to sound cliché, but just looking forward to this opportunity here with this great franchise and just being able to contribute every night.”

Those are admirable words in a business where money routinely trumps altruistic motives. Then again, if another team had arrived at Davis’ doorstep this summer with a wheelbarrow overflowing with $20 million, we would not be having this conversation.

It’s also worth noting that the second year of Davis’ deal is a player’s option. If he has a breakout season, he could opt out and roll the dice again. 

Until then, the 6’10” lefty will take his place in line behind presumed starters Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer, and alongside rookie Julius Randle, utility center Robert Sacre and stretch 4 Ryan Kelly. But he’ll push hard throughout training camp and beyond to prove to Byron Scott that his shot blocking, sheer hustle and solid work ethic should earn him heavy minutes as Hill’s primary backup, as well as an opportunity to chew into Boozer’s minutes at the 4.

Davis won an NCAA title at North Carolina as a freshman. He declared for the draft the following year after a season shortened by a broken wrist. Selected as the 13th overall pick by the Toronto Raptors ...

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