When the Memphis Grizzlies made the somewhat shocking decision prior to the NBA Trade Deadline last season to trade Rudy Gay, they actually ended up getting a solid haul in return. The two biggest acquisitions for Memphis from the three-team trade, though, were undoubtedly forwards Tayshaun Prince and Ed Davis.
Prince immediately slid into the small forward spot left vacant by the departure of Gay and had relative success, though he wasn’t nearly as productive as Gay was. Davis, however, had a bit of trouble adjusting as he was competing for reserve minutes at the power forward with Darrell Arthur behind starter Zach Randolph.
With Arthur being traded this off-season, though, Davis is not the Grizzlies’ number one option off of the bench at that position. Davis is a player that has had shining moments in the league, but is still trying to put it all together. This season in Memphis, he’ll have the prime opportunity to show his value and growth.
As the Grizz took on the Orlando Magic on Friday night, Memphis was trying to give Randolph a bit of rest, playing him only 18 minutes in the contest. Subsequently, Davis saw a lot of run in the game, playing 28 minutes. Though it is just the preseason, Davis’ performance was fantastic and promising for what he can bring to the team in the regular season. He finished the night with 16 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocks while shooting 7-10 from the floor.
Davis has worked a ton on his offensive game since coming into the league and is clearly a solid option on that end of the floor. The most promising thing that he showed on Friday, though, was his activity on the defensive end of the floor and on the boards. That’s when Davis is at his best, but also where he needs to become more consistent. With that being said, if he can play at the level or close to the level that he played at on Friday this season in Memphis, he’s going to be quite valuable to this team.