Merely 24-hours past the NBA trade deadline, the Orlando Magic and Glen “Big Baby” Davis have agreed on a buyout that will make him an unrestricted free agent by Monday once he clears waivers. The 6’9 28-year-old forward’s current contract will pay him $6.4 million this year and $6.6 million the following year. Davis was included in various trade scenarios built by Magic general manager Rob Hennigan, none of which were successfully completed by yesterday’s deadline.
First reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears, the Los Angeles Clippers (37-19) seem to be the favorite’s to sign Davis once he clears waivers. Davis, and Clippers head coach Doc Rivers share a relationship from their Boston Celtics days where Davis flourished in a bench role, averaging seven points and four rebounds in 20 minutes of action. With a 48-hour countdown until teams can finally pick up Davis from the waiver wire, it’s unlikely many teams will seek his services since this buyout has occurred after January 10th, the date of which all NBA contracts become guaranteed for the remainder of the season. Although the Clippers have stated their interest in Davis, reportedly other Larry O’Brien trophy contenders have tossed their hat in the ring. Those that could be interested in retaining Davis include the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and defending champion Miami Heat, all of whom can ensure Davis a ride into this year’s post-season, but with a lesser role than the Los Angeles Clippers can provide.
Currently averaging 12.1 points and 6.3 rebounds this season while shooting 45.3 percent from the field; Davis was an impediment to a rebuilding Magic team that is more interested in giving minutes to its younger players Tobias Harris, Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn. All will share the extra minutes that remain from Davis’ departure, with the idea that Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn will be able to better develop his young talent.
Davis would be a seamless fit into Doc Rivers system with the Clippers and would be a welcomed upgrade over their current big-man off the bench Ryan Hollins. Davis will give Rivers the versatility he seeks from a big-man off the bench, with the ability to face up to the basket, in addition to defending other forwards and centers. His career 70 percent from the free-throw line is a plus as well, as the other big-man options rumored to be in the Clippers line of sight Ivan Johnson and Jason Collins are both career free-throw shooters under 65 percent.
With regards to the need for a new forward, Rivers recently commented, “I don’t think we’re in any rush. We’re out looking and there are some guys out there. Buyout season could happen pretty soon, too. That’s the next new thing we can talk about”. With the roster down to 12 players after yesterday’s trades of forwards Byron Mullens and Antawn Jamison, the Clippers will face four teams in their next five contests that feature a former or current All-Star forward/center (Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets). For Doc Rivers and the Clippers, the buyout conversation and Monday’s opportunity to acquire Glen Davis won’t come fast enough.