Ranking Best Potential Destinations for Glen Davis in Free Agency
Big Baby is without a home...for the moment, anyway.
Veteran big man Glen Davis is being bought out by his team, the Orlando Magic. The official announcement will come Friday, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Magic have told Glen Davis that younger guys are going to play. Club also wants his mood swings out of locker room (sic).
Davis has struggled with losing, and had a temper tantrum at Orlando hotel. Broke locker room (sic) door last season after booted from practice.
So it seems clear that Big Baby should stay away from any losing team. But he could bring value to a contender.
Davis can score—he averaged 15.1 points per game last season—and has a wealth of playoff experience from his days with the Celtics. If he's willing to come off the bench, he could provide the kind of second-unit scoring up front that can turn a pretender into a legitimate playoff threat.
So which playoff-bound teams would suit Big Baby best?
*Unless noted, all statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.
1. Los Angeles Clippers
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers are "a strong front-runner" for Davis. It's not hard to see why.
The Clippers are coached by Doc Rivers, the same man on the bench for Davis' first four seasons in Boston.
In January 2011, Davis described their relationship as the kind of close, complicated bond found between father and son, according to WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia: “For sure father son, like step-son,” Davis said of Rivers. “He loves me. But it’s like I still love you, but I’m hard on you. It is what it is.”
Even if the two players didn't have a relationship, Los Angeles still might be the front-runner. They have almost no frontcourt depth behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Davis could see major minutes for the Clippers almost immediately.
2. Brooklyn Nets
The Nets have also been mentioned as a potential suitor for Davis according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
The Nets do not have the depth issues up front that plague the Clippers; their problems are more age- and injury-related. Center Brook Lopez is out for the season, forcing Garnett to play out of position at center. Reserve big Andrei Kirilenko missed a large chunk of the first half with back issues.
The Nets would love to limit Garnett's minutes, and they could use some insurance in case Kirilenko's back acts up again. They inquired about Los Angeles Lakers big Jordan Hill before the deadline, according to NBC Sports' Kurt Helin.
Now that Hill is out of the picture, Davis would make sense for Brooklyn.
3. Portland Trail Blazers
While the Portland Trail Blazers have yet to be linked with Davis, they would be a prime candidate for a cheap, veteran reserve big who can score.
The Blazers' starters have been one the best stories of the 2013-14 season, but their bench can be a real problem. Per HoopStats, Portland ranks 26th in the NBA in efficiency difference between starters and reserves.
Among that bench, the scoring is disproportionately weighted toward the backcourt. Two guards, Mo Williams and C.J. McCollum, are by far the best scorers on the second unit.
Thomas Robinson and Joel Freeland, the Blazers' two best reserve bigs, are averaging 4.3 and 3.3 points per game, respectively.
The Blazers' bench could certainly use a player like Davis up front.
4. Golden State Warriors
Like Portland, the Golden State Warriors have struggled to get production from their bench, ranking 25th in efficiency difference between first and second units, per HoopStats.
Unlike the Blazers, however, Golden State has already addressed that weakness on the trade market, getting Steve Blake from the Lakers and Jordan Crawford from the Celtics.
But both of those players are guards. Could the Warriors use an upgrade up front? They do have a capable reserve big in Marreese Speights, but they also have serious injury concerns in their frontcourt.
Golden State has often needed to rely on Jermaine O'Neal, but the 35-year-old big man has already missed several games due to injury and is by no means guaranteed to last the rest of the season.
If the Warriors are concerned about O'Neal's health, they might want to give Davis a call.
5. Miami Heat
Ah, the kings of the cheap veteran pickup.
This might not be the best fit in the world, but it could work for a few reasons.
The Heat are a terrible rebounding team, ranking dead last in offensive rebound percentage and 25th in defensive rebound percentage. They might be interested in a talented, cheap big if they aren't sold on the likes of Udonis Haslem and Greg Oden.
And Davis—now free to choose any team—could be attracted to the prospect of winning another ring with just a few months' work. After all, the Heat are a better bet to win the title than any of the teams listed above. If Miami did come calling, it could be an offer Davis can't refuse.
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