Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/24/13
At some point over dinner on Tuesday night the topic surely came up as close friends and former teammates DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis broke bread in Toronto. It is that time of year now for Davis as it was a year ago for DeRozan — contract extensions may be in the offing and the financial windfall that comes with a second NBA deal is not to be taken lightly. DeRozan hit the jackpot almost a year ago turning his rookie deal into a four-year $38 million (U.S.) contract from the Raptors. Davis doesn’t stand to get nearly the same amount from the Memphis Grizzlies but the situations are still similar. And the advice was flowing. “Don’t stress too much about it let it come” DeRozan said he told Davis the night before the Raptors destroyed the Grizzlies 108-72 in Toronto’s penultimate pre-season game. “Don’t put so much into it if it happens it happens.” It is unlikely to happen for Davis in anything close the same way it happened for DeRozan though. DeRozan was anointed a cornerstone of the Raptors franchise a piece to be built around and then-general manager Bryan Colangelo treated him as such. Davis has had no such chance; just as he was rounding into form in his third year in Toronto Colangelo shipped him off to Memphis in the Rudy Gay trade landing Davis squarely behind all-stars Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol and unable to show how his skills had developed. It will undoubtedly cost him money — teams don’t pay backups nearly $10 million a year on new deals — so the 22-year-old isn’t getting too worked up about it. “You think about it but just go out and play and everything is going to take care of itself” he said. But that’s in today’s circumstances because a year ago Davis was a good-natured agitator. “I was the one always messing with him last year about it until he got his extension” he said. “We talk about it here and there but it’s just about basketball everything else will take care of itself.” Davis had begun to show solid improvement with the Raptors before the trade to Memphis. Stuck behind Gasol and Randolph on a team with legitimate championship aspirations and playing for a coach — Lionel Hollins — who wasn’t in the mood for developing youngsters he rarely played. Now with Hollins gone and assistant David Joerger in charge Davis feels he’ll at least get a legitimate shot. “(It’s) just a better relationship being able to talk to him and he’s been talking to me telling me exactly what he wants from me and things like that” Davis said. “He’s definitely a player’s coach and he understands us.”
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