Los Angeles Lakers Must Make the Right Decision with Ed Davis’ Future

The Los Angeles Lakers will roll into the offseason with cash to throw at the league's top available players. But they also have to spread some love closer to home—with hardworking "Big Boss" Ed Davis.

The 25-year-old, who won a national title at the University of North Carolina, will opt out of his contract in hopes of a longer deal that is at least somewhat in line with his real market value. It's a figure that's certainly higher than the minimum-salary contract he signed with the Lakers during the 2014 offseason.

Selected as the 13th overall pick in the draft by the Toronto Raptors in 2010, Davis has always been known for his blue-collar tenacity in the paint. What he hasn't yet had, however, is a lasting home in the NBA. Halfway through his third season, the 6'10" frontcourt player was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, where his minutes decreased in a supporting role behind Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.

Davis and the Grizzlies couldn’t come to terms on a contract extension before the start of his fourth season, leading to free agency last summer and a rock-bottom contract with the Lakers—one year at $981,084 and a player's option of $1.1 million.

It was always a foregone conclusion that any measure of success for the big man would lead to him opting out of the second year of the deal. And as Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak noted during his recent exit interview, per Lakers.com, Davis certainly put himself in a position to do better than the current terms of his deal:

I thought he really had a very, very good season. He does several things really well. He protects the rim, he rebounds and he has great energy. He's always at practice early; he's always staying late, working on areas that he needs to work on, and there are areas that need to be worked on. But he clearly helped himself by coming here this year.

During his own exit interview, Davis m...

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