Ed Davis’ Breakout Season More Important Than Ever for Los Angeles Lakers

It's a good thing the Los Angeles Lakers invested in Ed Davis this summer because they're going to wring every last ounce of productivity out of him in the coming months. 

After rookie power forward Julius Randle suffered a broken right tibia in the Lakers' season-opening loss to the Houston Rockets Tuesday night, Davis will assume a role as the club's temporary frontcourt savior. 

Randle is now officially out for the season after undergoing surgery, the team announced Wednesday afternoon: 

While Randle was expected to provide glimpses of a future paved with quick first steps, abundant athleticism and aggression on the glass, the Purple and Gold will be forced to turn to a relatively unproven Davis. 

Since being drafted in 2010, Davis has started 58 of a possible 276 regular-season games and has averaged just 20.8 minutes per contest. 

Mundane career averages of 6.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks don't paint a particularly pretty picture either. 

But perhaps that's because Davis has never been put in a position advantageous to sustained success. 

After a truncated stay with the Toronto Raptors, Davis was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies as the presumed centerpiece of a deal that shipped Rudy Gay north of the border. 

However, Davis' role was continually marginalized: first by former Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins and then by his successor, Dave Joerger.

During Davis' time in Memphis, he started a grand total of eight games while averaging a shade over 15 minutes per night as regular playing time proved scarce in a frontcourt consisting of Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and eventually Kosta Koufos. 

Thanks to the Raptors and Grizzlies, Davis' value depreciated rapidly. 

However, that opened the door for the Lakers to steal Davis off the open market this summe...

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