Jun 30, 2014, 4:57 PM EDT
About seven weeks before the deal that sent him from Toronto to Memphis, Davis moved into the Raptors’ starting lineup and averaged 13.1 points on 56.1 percent shooting and 7.7 rebounds per game. At just 23, he looked like a solid starter for years to come – at minimum.
But his development has really stunted in Memphis, as he never really got in a groove behind Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. With the option of giving Davis a $4,361,789 qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent, the Grizzlies are passing.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Memphis forward Ed Davis will be an unrestricted free agent, league source tells Yahoo.—
Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 30, 2014
This doesn’t mean the Grizzlies will let Davis leave. It just means they don’t think he’s worth $4,361,789 next season.
On one hand, Davis is likely headed out the door, because I’d think another team would offer Davis that much – especially because the Grizzlies can’t match to keep him. On the other hand, might potential suitors worry the team that knows him best doesn’t want to keep him for that price?Davis’ best shot of drawing offers is convincing teams Memphis declined to extend a qualifying offer due to luxury-tax concerns rather than his production (5.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season). I project the Grizzlies will fall $6,403,959 below the projected luxury-tax line. If he had taken the qualifying offer, Davis would have eaten into a large majority of that buffer.Memphis could gain a little more leeway by waiving Kosta Koufos (just $500,000 of $3 million guaranteed until tomorrow, when the contract becomes fully guaranteed) or making some other move, like stretching Tayshaun Prince. The tax doesn’t apply until the last day of the regular season. Teams have plenty of time to tinker in relation to the tax.Obviously, the Grizzlies didn’t think Davis was worth that risk.In one sense, they’re correct that Davis doesn’t warrant playing the tax. But I think he’s valuable enough to toe the tax line for the time being rather than substantially increasing the chance he leaves with no compensation in return.
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