To say that Ed Davis’ first year with the Utah Jazz has been bad would be an understatement — it’s been a travesty. Will his career survive? Time will tell …
The Summer of 2019 was good to the Utah Jazz. They’d flirted with Mike Conley for a good bit, and finally, the Jazz were pretty enough to bring him onboard. And if that move wasn’t sufficient to get fringe Jazz fans excited, Bojan Bogdanović agreed to a four-year, $73.1 million deal, too.
There were a few other nice, not-so-sexy moves to go along with ‘em, as well. Jeff Green came in on a one-year, minimum gig. Emmanuel Mudiay did the same thing. Heck, though he’d later be waived, even BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth signed a non-guaranteed contract for training camp.
Oh! And one more that must’ve slipped my mind: Ed Davis.
The Jazz landed the nine-year veteran on a two-year deal worth $9.7 million using the Jazz’s cap room exception. At the time, Davis’ coming to Utah was seen as “gravy” for the team.
He’d built a reputation for himself as a solid, hardworking backup center who could jive with just about any locker room. He didn’t need the ball in his hands to efficiently rebound the basketball, either.
His name “slipped my mind” for a reason, though …
His time in Utah has been a complete and total train wreck.
Remember, Jazz fans had spent the past nine years with Derrick Favors largely devouring minutes at the backup center position — their expectations weren’t exactly at ground-level.
And while Favors set the bar high, before arriving in Salt Lake City, with great success, Davis played the exact same role Favors occupied for five different teams in just under a decade’s time.
Unfortunately, Davis’ tough, grind-it-out style of play simply hasn’t meshed well with the skill required to take part in Quin Snyder’s offensive schemes. Before trading for Jordan Clarkson, the Jazz’s second unit relied heavily on Joe Ingles to run a pick-and-roll offense. Undersized and not known for his scoring ability, Davis looked uncomfortable with his role out on the hardwood.
And by the time Clarkson had showed up to establish himself as the Jazz’s second-string scorer, Davis was just coming off of a fractured fibula, which caused him to miss 12 of the Jazz’s first 18 games of the season. While sidelined, improving steadily game after game, Tony Bradley had performed well enough as a rim-runner to all but sign the death certificate on Davis’ season.
His stats reflect this on-court frustration, too.
This season, Davis is averaging career-lows in just about every major statistical metric. On top of that, in spite of the bulk of his scoring coming from hard-fought, putback opportunities directly under the rim, by far, he’s having the most inefficient shooting season of his career, as well …
- Points: 1.3
- Games: 25
- Rebounds: 3.8
- Minutes Played: 10.7
- Field Goal Percentage: 41.2
Davis is only 30 years old …
He should be entering his prime along with guys like Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Hassan Whiteside and Avery Bradley. Instead, a style of play that should gel in just about any system appears to be failing him — the fact that it’s not leads me to believe he’s running on empty.
So, is the curtain closing on Davis’ NBA career?
The Jazz still owe him $5 million, but it certainly looks that way.