During his post-practice media scrum on Wednesday, head coach Dwane Casey talked a little bit about the upcoming off-season, and in particular, the Raptors’ plans for the Las Vegas Summer League.
Casey mentioned that if Lithuania doesn’t qualify for the London Olympics, Jonas Valanciunas will be at Summer League, along with the Raptors’ 2012 draft pick. He also mentioned that Toronto’s veteran players will be invited to Vegas as well, to “be around the young players.”
But it was Casey’s comments about the off-season plan for Ed Davis that really stood out to me.
“This is a big summer for him as far as getting in the weight room, being used to being the no. 1 option in the summer league…Eddy will be our no. 1 option and our no. 1 focus point.”
Obviously I’m aware that a player being proclaimed the premier option on a summer league squad heading into his third NBA season isn’t exactly earth shattering news, and a Draft Lottery win or too-good-to-pass-up trade scenario could still change things between now and then, but if you ask me, the fact that the Raptors have an off-season plan laid out with Ed Davis in mind means that he’s at least still in the plans.
Why I find this significant, of course, is that most of us feel there isn’t enough playing time and space for both Davis and Amir Johnson with Valanciunas expected to join the team next season. So perhaps I’m reading too much into some April comments about the upcoming summer, but if Casey and the Raps appear to be thinking long term when it comes to Ed, does that mean the end is near in Toronto for Amir?
And if the Raptors ever did decide to part with Johnson, do you think they’d be able to find someone willing to take the last three years and $19.5 million of his deal, or would the amnesty clause, which I’ve brought up before in connection with Amir, be a consideration?
If you want a definitive guide to the Raptors’ regular season finale tonight and what it means for the Draft Lottery ramifications, check out my earlier post here.
Also, some comforting news in Raptors land this morning, as President and GM Bryan Colangelo has quickly squashed the Sasha Vujacic rumours.