The Raptors finished the preseason last night in Montreal and are set for the ones that count, starting Wednesday at home against the Knicks. We’re nearing the end of our Raptors Preview, and taking a look at rookie Ed Davis today:
Though Chris Bosh didn’t formally leave Toronto until early-July, it was pretty clear on draft night that Bryan Colangelo & co. needed to start their search for a replacement. They’re hoping they found that in Ed Davis, a wiry 6’10” power forward out of North Carolina that they scooped up with the 13th pick. Though he missed the preseason with after a meniscus tear suffered in a pickup game five weeks ago and isn’t cleared for contact drills for another couple weeks, Davis is expected to step in and play a key role as the season progresses.
Davis, a lefty like Bosh and the son of former NBA big man Terry Davis, enters the league after just two years in college and fresh off a sophomore year that saw him average 13.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks, up from 6.7, 6.6 and 1.7 as a freshman. In all, pretty impressive numbers for the now 21-year-old, though he’ll be quick to discover the NBA is a whole different beast. That said, he comes as a highly-touted, talented young player that plays a position the Raptors have historically lacked toughness at, and should be able to make a big difference with experience.
It’s tough to give much commentary on Davis’ game, since we were deprived of a shot at seeing him play in training camp and the preseason. He did, however, see action in the Vegas Summer League, flashing a decent mid-range jumper, if not too much else in the way of offense. When he’s ready to go, expect Davis to come off the bench and hustle, play defense, rebound and learn what it’s like to be a productive offensive player in the league as the season moves on. Exactly how long that takes…well, we’ll see.
Davis’ 6’10’ frame is padded by just 225 lbs., so he’ll likely take his share of licks on the defensive end early in the season. According to reports, though, he’s spent much of the past month in the weight room working to fill out. Given what he was able to do at his size at North Carolina, Davis has the potential to develop into a huge, physical impact player in the NBA.
2009-10 at North Carolina: 23 games (he missed the final month, including the NCAA tournament, with a broken writst), 57.8% from the field and 65.9% from the line, 13.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 2.78 blocks in 27.9 minutes per game.
What to expect: Given 20-25 minutes per game over the course of the season, look for Davis to average anywhere from 7-10 points, 5-7 rebounds and about a block per night. He role should increase as the season progresses, and if he earns playing time early, his averages will be on the higher side of those ranges.
Check out the other Raptors we’ve previewed: Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Jarrett Jack, Sonny Weems, Reggie Evans, Leandro Barbosa, Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza, Julian Wright and David Andersen.