Updates from Sunday, Feb. 23
Glen Davis has given Clippers word he is signing, a source told Yahoo.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) February 23, 2014
Source confirms that Glen Davis has committed to the Clippers once he clears waivers this afternoon at 5 eastern.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) February 23, 2014
The Orlando Magic and forward Glen Davis reached an agreement on a contract buyout, and Davis will leave the team on Friday morning.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported the news on Thursday:
Orlando and Davis have reached agreement on a buyout and parting will be official on Friday morning, league source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 21, 2014
SheridanHoops.com's Michael Scotto cited a source who said the Brooklyn Nets would be interested in Davis once he hits the open market:
Source: Glen Davis is one of a few free agents the Brooklyn Nets would be interested in once his buyout agreement becomes official.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) February 21, 2014
Sam Amick of USA Today reported that Davis was on the block leading up to Thursday's trade deadline, but a deal couldn't be struck:
The Magic have been focused on talks involving vets like Jameer Nelson & Glen Davis, but not getting anywhere just yet.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 18, 2014
Davis had served as a starter when he's been healthy for Orlando in the past two seasons, but he wasn't the type of power forward the Magic were paying $25.7 million over four years, via Spotrac.com. The 6'9" big man had missed a slew of games in recent seasons and isn't consistently reliable as a surefire member of a championship-caliber core.
Nevertheless, the 28-year-old veteran brings plenty of experience and should be a rather prized commodity among contenders as a role player.
But word is that Davis' departure has to do with younger members of the current Magic squad receiving priority in the rotation for the remainder of the 2013-14 season. A volatile temperament also caused a falling-out of sorts between Davis and the Magic, per Brian K. Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel:
Re: Big Baby buy-out. Magic have told Glen Davis that younger guys are going to play. Club also wants his mood swings out of lockeroom.— Brian K. Schmitz (@MagicInsider) February 21, 2014
It makes sense that Orlando's front office is trying to cut costs and rebuild in any way possible—especially with a loaded 2014 NBA draft on the horizon. The Magic finished a league-worst 20-62 last season and have won just 16 games this year.
Schmitz provided further insight into Davis' temper issues, which are partially due to how poorly the team has performed:
Davis has struggled with losing, and had a temper tantrum at Orlando hotel. Broke lockeroom door last season after booted from practice.— Brian K. Schmitz (@MagicInsider) February 21, 2014
Big Baby snapped at me in Brooklyn after a game, pushing away video camera. Still, I worry about the guy if he's not playing basketball.— Brian K. Schmitz (@MagicInsider) February 21, 2014
In November, Davis went on a tirade at a Florida Travelodge when he couldn't get access to a room, according to TMZ.com. He apologized for his behavior on Twitter:
In regards to the incident that occurred on Friday night, I want to sincerely apologize for my actions. There is no excuse for what I did...— Glen Davis (@iambigbaby11) November 12, 2013
... I was obviously wrong and I take full responsibility. I apologize to the Magic, my fans and the city of Orlando.— Glen Davis (@iambigbaby11) November 12, 2013
While losing can't be fun for a true competitor, Davis isn't helping matters by having immature outbursts, which has evidently driven down locker room morale and made for an uncomfortable situation. Concerns have to be prominent with regard to how Davis will mesh with a new squad this season.
The Magic do have a bright future if they manage to hold onto promising shooting guard Arron Afflalo. In addition to Afflalo, they have rookie No. 2 overall pick Victor Oladipo, standout center Nikola Vucevic and swingman Tobias Harris to go with whatever blue-chip player comes out of the impending draft.
General manager Rob Hennigan's rebuilding project is still a work in progress, but this move to negotiate a buyout with Davis is a savvy one that opens up cap space and gives Orlando more flexibility for the future. It also helps Davis as he looks to move on to a more promising situation as part of a better overall team—something he grew accustomed to in his early playing days with the Boston Celtics.