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.

Comments (28)

  1. It’s a tough one. I would like to see Davis stay because I think he could be a decent player, given the opportunity. But I don’t see any reason why they should hold onto him, especially if he’s going to be staying in his current role next season.

    I expect he has some trade value, given that he’s only 22 and under a rookie contract, probably a much easier player to move than Amir (if you have to move one).

    I’m a supporter of Ed Davis, or any PF they draft this year taking over the starting role for Bargnani, then trading him. But Bryan Colangelo still seems convinced of Bargnani being a star. Getting Anthony Davis or Thomas Robinson is the only real chance he may finally do the right thing, and move Bargnani.

  2. Lets see if ED can live up to DC’s high expectations considering the fact that Davis has no real offensive game or real basketball fundamentals to speak of. He just lives off his athleticism and energy–other than that, he does not have anything else to his game. Ed Davis is not a starting quality PF and it looks as if his ceiling is rather low as well. I don’t see him being anything more than a rotation player off the bench to be honest.

  3. I wouldn’t put much stock into any of this. There’s a glut at the 4, and someone’s getting moved. It will probably just depend on the return. Ed’s still on a rookie contract and has some potential if he can get stronger and fix his shot, so if they can move Amir, then maybe Amir is the odd guy out.

    The problem as far as I’m concerned is that I don’t love any of these 4s being paired with JV going forward. I’m excited about JV, but he’s going to get pushed around a lot, even if he manages to rebound and block shots. Casey might be thinking about emulating the Dallas frontcourt, where JV is like Chandler, Bargs is like Dirk and someone (don’t think they’re confident in JJ as a starter) plays a Marion type role. But Chandler is a lot stronger than JV is going to be for at least a few seasons, and Dirk has always rebounded better than Bargs. No way Casey wants a starting frontcourt that is going to get pushed around so much. Ed and Amir don’t really help in that regard either. Right now, Aaron Gray is really the only “muscle,” and I use that term loosely, in the frontcourt.

    I don’t think they’re going to move Bargs any time soon given how much hope they have invested there, but I’m still an advocate of drafting Sullinger if the Raps fall out of the top 5. I think he would complement JV much better and he looks like he can be at least a decent contributor right away. He’s not a flashy pick but if he clears his medicals I would take him and try and move Ed and/or Amir. JJ and Kleiza can both play the 4 if need be anyway.

  4. Ed should stay away from UTM this summer

  5. What’s the likelihood of Lithuania NOT playing in the Olympics? Aren’t they generally one of the better teams?

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