Arguably the most consistent player for the Los Angeles Lakers last season was big man Ed Davis. No one knew what to expect from Davis as he had very little playing time in his previous years with Memphis, but he turned in an impressive season posting career-highs in points, rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage.
Davis would opt-out of his contract and ultimately sign with the Portland Trail Blazers this off-season. In an interview with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, Davis said the Lakers were his first choice going in to free agency:
I wasn’t really surprised [to leave the Lakers],” Davis said. “Nothing in the NBA is going to surprise me at this point. But obviously they were my first choice going into free agency. We couldn’t get a deal worked out so I just moved on, but I enjoyed my time there. The fans there really supported me and they really wanted me back. They had my back the whole year and most of them still do now, so I enjoyed my time there.
Many fans hoped that Davis would remain with the Lakers, but the team was focused on bringing in top targets such as LaMarcus Aldridge or DeAndre Jordan. Wanting to keep their cap space available, the Lakers chose to wait before really pursuing Davis and missed out.
Even though he is gone, Davis did have an excellent year with the Lakers and was extremely professional throughout his time in Los Angeles. The fans will likely give Davis a nice ovation when he makes his return to the Staples Center and he certainly earned it.[divide]