Don’t expect to see a lot of Cavaliers new power forward Ed Davis on the court. If all goes well, his contributions will mostly come behind the scenes.
“I know I can help these young guys here. That’s what I’m here for, both on the court and off the court,” Davis told reporters. “I can help them out because of everything I’ve been through.”
Davis, 32, has been a basketball journeyman of sorts, a big man who has spent the past several seasons helping out teams around the edges. He won’t wow anyone with highlight reel dunks or by blocking shots into next week.
Allen can attest to that, as he and Davis were teammates with the Nets during the 2018-19 season. Former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson once said Allen became a better rebounder because of the help he received from Davis.
That’s not all. Davis tried to convince Allen he’d become a $100 million man someday. And guess how much Allen’s new contract with the Cavs is worth?
“There’s a lot of vets in this league who are selfish and don’t want to pay it back,” Davis said. “I don’t want to do that. With JA, I was happy as hell for him when he signed that deal. Since, at the time in Brooklyn, he didn’t see himself as a $100 million player.”
Davis appeared in 23 games with the Timberwolves last season. He played 28 game with the Jazz the year before that. Both times, it was in a similar role as the one he is expected to play with the Cavs.
So he’s not just blowing smoke when he says this isn’t about playing time. It’s about being a coach in uniform, and Davis has already walked the walk.
“I’m authentic,” he said. “With these guys, I’m not in competition to take their minutes and I know my role and I know why I’m here. I don’t expect to go out and play 20 minutes a night.”
The Cavs announced the Davis signing on Wednesday. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff is said to be a big fan and a big voice behind the idea of bringing in Davis.
“We were on the hunt for some veterans who have been there and done that and help set the culture forward,” Bickerstaff said.
Along with the Timberwolves, Nets and Jazz, Davis has spent time with the Trail Blazers, Lakers, Grizzlies and Raptors. He was the No. 13 overall pick in the 2010 draft out of North Carolina.
“Obviously, I wish my career would’ve been better but I gave it my all and I went hard,” he said. “I’ll continue to go hard until my time is up.”