So Luc, who’s better?

I really wish I could just write about the Conference Finals right now, but alas, this is a Raptors site and we need Raptors content. I’d assume you’re all watching Miami/Boston and Oklahoma City/San Antonio, but if you’re not you should really do yourselves a favor and tune in to games 5-7 of each series. They’ve been very different series, but the storylines and quality of basketball in each have been compelling to say the least. While the Celtics try to hang on for “one last run” and the Heat try to weather the storm without Bosh (due back for Game 5 Tuesday, according to reports), the Thunder are growing up before our eyes , and the Spurs continue to set the bar for all things basketball. It’s been a great playoffs so far, and maybe if we’re lucky we’ll get to be a part of them next season (the first round, anyway).

I digress. Raptors stuff, right? Just an FYI, I’m trying to coordinate an early mock draft with some other True Hoop Network blogs, aiming to post a mock draft of the lottery picks (with a rep from each team site making the selection for that particular team) later this week and then again closer to draft night when we have more information from workouts, scouting reports, etc. Just an interesting exercise to see how the different blog sites feel at each pick rather than the ‘expert’ mocks. Anyway, look for that sometime soon.

For today I wanted to have a look at Amir Johnson and Ed Davis. The fanbase here seems relatively split when it comes to choosing one over the other, and it’s a decision that the team may be faced with sooner than later. With Bargnani and Valanciunas mortal locks for regular playing time, and the likely need for another ‘big’ center on the roster, Davis and Amir might find themselves competing for back-up Power Forward minutes and scraps at the five. I’ve always been a Davis fan, but mostly for reasons I can’t fully explain, so I thought I should take a closer look and then open it up for debate.

Foremost, Amir makes significantly more money, so if one were to be moved, it makes more sense for it to be Amir. That is, moving Amir allows for more significant follow-up moves due to the extra cash available. Johnson is due $6M, then $6.5M and $7M the next three years, while Davis is still on his rookie contract and is owed $2.2M with a team option for $3.2M and then a $4.4M qualifying offer the year after. Ed is also two years Amir’s junior, so in theory he is earlier on the development curve and should have more time to grow still.

Statistically, Amir wins the battle at present time. If we use Simple Rating as a gauge, Amir was a +2.2 this year while Ed was a -3.3. Amir is a much more efficient scorer (57.9% eFG vs 51.3%) and is generally accepted as a better defender as well. The trouble with Amir comes in that his contributions are limited by foul trouble (3.3 FPG in 24.3MPG, while Davis is at 2.4 in 23.2), and that Ed is a better rebounder, grabbing 16.7% of available rebounds against Amir’s 15.4%. Their PERs, if that’s your cup of tea, are nearly identical just below the league-average 15 mark, with Amir’s turnovers negating his advantage in scoring efficiency.

It seems that in the box-score they’re nearly a wash, but Amir’s defensive ability makes him a more valuable player, depending on your metric of choice. A lot of this could be due to the effort Amir expends (leading to more fouls), or Davis being a bit more passive, though they both block about 3.5% of opposition shots and average right around a block a game. Blocks aside, Amir holds opposing PFs to just a 13.6 PER while that number jumps to 18.0 for Davis. Does Davis really turn Craig Smith into Kris Humphries? It’s difficult to say how much of this can be attributed to just the individual, but the evidence seems to weigh heavily in favor of Amir on that end.

Again, I should point out that Davis is earlier on the development curve, so can we expect improvement? Amir’s similarity scores rank him with Malik Rose and Phil Jackson, while Davis is too early in his career for Basketball Reference to provide a comparison. Basically, given Amir’s length of service and performance to date, history doesn’t look kindly on his ability to break out and be much more than a rotation contributor, though there’s nothing wrong with that other than the price tag (and that’s debatable, I suppose). For Davis, you’d like to give him a bit of a mulligan considering he missed his first NBA training camp due to a wrist injury and his second due to the lockout, meaning he’s basically operating on a slowed down development curve to this point.

Does Davis have enough upside remaining at age 23 to warrant a “free pass” for Amir’s superior defensive statistics? Will Davis start hitting those 3-9ft bunnies at greater than a 50% rate (45.3% last year)? Is his sub-par jump shot ever going to make him anything close to a threat beyond 10ft (25% from that range last year)? Amir has greatly improved in the short range since his early seasons (55% from 3-9ft last year), and he has some semblance of an 18-footer (35% from 16-23ft). Does this bode well for Davis, or are they too dissimilar to make this generalization?

Basically, some stats say Amir is the better player (as mentioned), while some see them as nearly equals (they are a lock in Win Shares per 48 minutes, for example). Amir definitely has the better jump shot and the stats back up his defense, while Ed is a stronger rebounder and still has ample development time left, at a financial discount no less. For whatever reason, and I can’t really explain since this analysis is a wash, if not in favor of Amir, I still think I’d prefer to move forward with Ed, his lower salary, and larger remaining potential, but I definitely couldn’t fault you if you’d rather swallow the above-average contract for a proven bench commodity in Amir. Of course, they may both remain on the team, and we’ll go with more small looks with one of them (or Bargs) occasionally manning the center position.

Thoughts, everyone?

  • Lightninghank

    I agree that like in Highlander in the end there can be only one.  I think it will be Amir that stays, since Ed Davis’ youth and cheaper contract will make hime more attractive as a trade target.  I could see Ed Davis being packaged with our draft pick.

    • mountio

      This is the key. Ed actually has some value in the market, whereas we would have to give up other guys / take salary back to trade Amir. Given their production is similar, the answer is Amir, by default, because we might actually be able to get something back in return ..

    • cesco

      Agree that Davis will be more attractive in a trade but I do not want the draft pick to go with him . The possibility of getting a potential franchise player in the draft is there but not in a trade .

    • Brian B

       agreed, but only if it brings back an established starting wing player (pref small forward) or a draft pick high enough to grab MKG.

    • Mark

      Nail on the head.  Amir has shown what he is which is not much and while Davis is younger, longer and is more athletic I don’t see anyone wanting to take on Amir’s contract which while many try to justify is probably close to double what anyone would want to pay him. 

      I also think Amir has accepted he’s a backup so to sum it up I’d rather keep Amir and package Davis.

  • John

    “Statistically, Amir wins the battle at present time. If we use Simple Rating as a gauge, Amir was a +2.2 this year while Ed was a -3.3. Amir is a much more efficient scorer (57.9% eFG vs 51.3%) and is generally accepted as a better defender as well. ”

    That is lie !!! Look at their averages for last season and you can see they are almost the same or Ed is better. 

    • http://theondeckcircle.net/ Blake Murphy

      I based it on simple rating, eFG, and defense, and then later went category by category. Just want to be clear on which stats you’re referring to John?

      • John

        PPG, RPG, FG%, FT% and … All the stat that is available from nab.com 

        • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

          Their FG% isn’t even close.
          http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=johnsam01&y1=2012&p2=davised01&y2=2012

          The other factor to consider is when they played. Amir played much more often against the opponent’s starters.

          After adjusting for these factors, the difference is quite large:
          http://www.liston.ca/AmirEd.JPG

          See here: http://godismyjudgeok.com/DStats/2012/nba-stats/adjusted-4-factors-visualization/ for methodology.

          • FooTara

            Solid point in favor of Amir !

          • Jeff

            Tom you are true an apologist for Amir. Last year, when Amir was playing the 2nd unit most of the time, you never mentioned that in the calculations :) :) It was just about the numbers and this year, when it is going against Amir, now, it matters !!! Please man, don’t lose the little credibility that is left for you with this amateur fanatic responses.

            Now as far as adjusted goes !!! it mean nothing when one guy can not stay on the floor !! Simple as that…

            Don’t play with numbers and change them to your benefit. Both of these guys got plenty of chance to play 40 minutes of the game and they did not play those minutes because :
            1) They were in foul trouble
            2) They were not driven enough and were taking a night off !!

            So stop it. The numbers show that Davis is better while he is younger and he has been in the league for less time and is cheaper than Amir. Now, can we get same value for Amir in the market ?? No, so it is maybe better to stay with Amir.

            • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

              Never let facts get the way of your flawed argument.

              I have always presented all the data and links. You present none.

              BTW, that’s the whole point of adjusted +/- methods – it accounts for quality of players around you and opponents.

    • Destro

      Amir being the better defender is non sense…that one dont pass the eye test…Too many times Amir gets caught in his lazy assed circle of bad habits….

  • voy

    I think ED has a higher ceiling.  Will he reach his potential, who knows?  All I really want of him is to defend and grab boards though.  He seems to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time.  Boards just seem to fall in his lap.  Amir seems to have to struggle and hustle for everything he gets and God love him for that but I think this will lead to more injuries down the road.

    If I am going to keep either Amir or ED, I’d rather roll with ED.

    • RaptorFan

      I agree ….I’d definitely keep ED and trade Amir….i think its important to keep the cap flexibility down the road

  • CalgaryRapsFan

    Ultimately, I would rather trade whichever of the two players helps bring back more in a trade.  Cop out answer, I know, but that would be the deciding factor for me, if I was BC.

    All things being equal, I would rather keep Davis and trade Amir
    – Davis is much cheaper
    – Davis is younger
    – Davis has a higher ceiling
    – Davis’ body hasn’t been through all the years of NBA punishment that Amir’s has
    – trading Amir opens more cap space for additional roster moves

    Although Davis’ perceived trade value might be higher among the Raptors’ fanbase, due to all the reasons I listed above, I’m guessing there are a lot of teams out there who would like to have a good, young, veteran backup PF (who can even play some C) – Amir fits the bill moreso than Davis does.  At $6M, it’s not like Amir’s salary is an albatross, especially if he were included in a deal that brough back an even bigger salary to Toronto.

    • mountio

      I wish you were right, but there is just no way that I can see team’s percieving Amir as having any trade value. Hes not a bad player, but given hes been in the league 6-7 years, its pretty hard to sell him on upside .. and with the new CBA, his contract is not a good one. At the end of last year, you might have a point .. but after his regression this year, I just dont see it.
      I actually believe the raps would have to ship something else / take back contracts just to unload him.
      So – I agree with your logic .. the one we get rid of should be the one with the most trade value .. but Im pretty confident that is Ed, not Amir.
      I guess if you are talking “who is the better throw in for salary matching” in a Rudy Gay deal, for example .. then yes, Amir. But who could we trade for a late first rounder this year .. Ed for sure has a better chance.

      • CalgaryRapsFan

        Agreed.  I suppose in that case, my preference would be for including Amir as part of a larger deal, instead of a smaller trade including Davis.

      • CJT

        Also I just don’t see this upside everyone keeps talking about with ED.  He runs like a baby deer, looks uncoordinated offensively and defensively, his shot is seriously broken.  He does have a knack for the ball rebounding wise without question.  Just not sure what else he brings.  I know that everytime ED shoots, I am suprised if it goes in.  Not the case with Amir.  Just my 2 cents.

        • CalgaryRapsFan

          Amir’s jumper looks slighly better (still pretty ugly) but I don’t have any more confidence in his mid-range game.  I would want whichever of them stays to focus more on their inside game.  I also think that Davis has a higher ceiling, which should be helped by his first ever training camp and full offseason of working out with the team’s guidance.  I don’t think Davis is much behind Amir now, but I bet he’s farther ahead than Amir was after his second season and I think he will wind up being equal/better than Amir when all is said and done.

          Heck, if the Raps end up keeping their pick and a guy like TRob somehow drops that far, I’d have no issue trading BOTH of Amir/Davis and drafting him.  My point is, all this debate is over the backup PF position.  I’m not that high or too hung up with either player at the end of the day.

          • CJT

            Agreed.

        • Destro

          double doubles every night last 12-15 game of last season BUT BUT
          of course your dumbass didnt see it…

          • Rob

            Lol, no one puts any weight into what someone does in the last 12-15 games of the season, basically garbage time. You saw what D-Leaguers like Alan Anderson and Ben Uzoh did, maybe we should lock them up to long-term contracts based on a such a small sample size in a lost season. 

            And FYI, he didn’t post a double double every night for the last 15 games of the season, he averaged 8.2 PPG, and 8.4 RPG. So either you don’t know what a double-double is, or your just plain stupid, or both.

            • Rob

              And to add, he posted just 3 double doubles in the last 15 games of the season. 

              In short, if you can package Ed for even a mid to late 1st round pick, you do it, there are some good names there. This hoping theres some poor bastard GM out there that thinks he can turn Ed into a serviceable player.

              • Mapko

                Don’t discount last few games of the season.
                With 1 more game like his last you thing Solo would have been most improved player?

          • CJT

            Once again you have no clue what you are talking about.  Was he also the leading scorer in the league?  Idiot.

        • p00ka_is_a_fish

          everyone takes your remarks as a grain of salt p00ka. you cant even come back to your original name pathetic.

          • Raps4Ever

            lmfao,,, I’ll tell you what’s pathetic, but funny as hell: This has to be the 6th-8th tag that you’re pathetically paranoid character mistakes as me.

            For the past few weeks, I drop by many days, not all, but rarely post. Funny that you hide behind this extra tag of yours calling me out when I’m not even there, over and over, and over. lmfao

            • p00ka_is_a_fish

              please your pathetic hiding behind multiple handle names.

          • CJT

            I have always posted under my name fyi dickweed.

            • p00ka_is_a_fish

              CJT only if i’m a dickweed then i plant my roots in your mom.

              • CJT

                Ya, she mentioned that.  Smallest roots she had ever seen.  Gave her a nice laugh. 

    • Mapko

      Some excellent points -esp later part about a team wanting a combo 4-5 (Atlanta maybe as a part of Josh Smith trade).
      Also I would hate to, in essence give up on Davis, as he has not had a full training camp in either of his 2 years.
      In summary if we were 4 or 5th in east (and thus in playoffs) I’d definetly keep Amir, but we are not & Davis (at least) has some upside/potential (with Amir you get what you see -hard work & limited output).

  • Oxnumbernine

    Lost in Rotation; that’s how Ed Davis’ defense looked to me all year. In my opinion, he improved his off ball movement and his short jumper enough to think they will run more plays for him next year. I expect his ceiling to be a good first big off the bench which is basically the same as Amir’s ceiling.

    The Raptors should trade whoever of the two brings a better return.

    The foul rate of Amir is not an issue in my opinion because he will not be expected to play more than 24 minutes if and when Jonas is ready to take on starter minutes at center.

  • Bendit

    Kudos on trying to get your brother blogs in the loop into formulating a mock draft. This could be a first! And interesting too since it shows the picks most favoured by the fans …that is if your participants put forth their site’s fans selections.

    Re ED vs Amir…it would have to be ED over AJ. Towards the end of last season it seemed like Casey got to him and he started to show a pulse (hustle). There is untapped talent there imo. With AJ gone it may have a positive effect on ED where he is more depended on plus more floor time. 

  • John

    The problem that most Raptor fans keep on ignoring is the value in trade !!! We like it or not, Amir is over paid and will NOT generate as much interest as Ed in the market. So at the end, it may not be really up to Raptors to keep one but the market and trade will dictate which one of these players will stay.

    • Steve

      Amir is the best player on team, made-up advanced stats show it. He’s one of the only Raptors I’d work hard to keep on the team, but the main reason is because he has his own ice-cream flavor at ColdStone, and he has fan contests on Twitter. :)

      —-Picket fence guy

  • tmk

    Just based on my own observations (discounting statistics and what not), I feel that Amir is a much better team defender then Davis. Again, based soley and games I’ve watched, I feel like our interior defence is much better with Amir down there. It seems like he is able to bother shots more frequently, even if he doesn’t get the blocks and generally able to use his length more effectively.

    With that being said, I’d still try to keep Davis instead. We know what we get with Amir and I don’t see any improvements or drastic changes. He is a useful player and like I’ve mentioned he does improve our defence, but for a rebuilding team he doesn’t fit the bill. He would be a great piece and would flourish on a contending team but not as a starting 4 or 5 for a team that lacks skills in pretty much every area. With Davis you get a cheaper option, you hope he grows and improves and if not, just don’t sign him when his contract expires.

    The only question is if anyone would want to take on Amir’s contract. Maybe the Heat would bite if they get don’t win a championship and get desperate? (though I have no idea who’d they trade and doubt they’d need another non-scoring big).

  • 2damkule

    i’m a fan of both, but…

    amir is the better player.  ed has the potential to be better than amir (overall), eventually, but if this past season is any indication, ed’s ceiling might be…amir johnson. 

    as for which one to keep…well, as most have stated, ed is likely easier to trade, but will also net almost nothing of significance in return (if lucky, a late future first or 2nd rounder).  included as part of a larger package, he’d be nothing more than sweetener for a team looking for frontcourt depth, or to get salaries to match.

    amir is unattractive at his salary…while most teams could use a player like him, those that would benefit most are likely already contending teams who are looking at high payrolls already, and as much as they’d appreciate his hustle, defense, etc., most would balk at paying him that much, unless they were able to unload a worse player making more money…and why would TO do that?

    at the end of the day, there may not be a real valid ‘reason’ to retain either of them long term.  the raps still have use of their amnesty clause, so amir could be a candidate for that (though i’d be shocked if they went that route), and ed could be dealt.  i think much of their respective futures with the raps will be determined on draft day…if they draft a big, be it sullinger (ick) or jones (meh), then i have a hard time factoring either ed or amir into the team’s long term plans.  if they go SF or PG in the draft, then they could keep both as frontcourt depth, say goodbye to grey, and go into next season with bargs, JV, ED & amir as a quasi-decent frontcourt rotation.

    • Ttw4ever

      Is everyone forgetting that we drafted Ed at #6. And got Amir for ukich. Clearly we should keep Ed Davis. Otherwise we should have drafted Brandon knight.

      • http://theondeckcircle.net/ Blake Murphy

        We took Ed Davis 13th in 2010. Brandon Knight went #8 in 2011.

  • Raptorboy

    Keep Amir. He’s still a very young player as well. He might never be an all-star but I think there is still plenty of room for improvement. He made significant strides 2 years ago and has become a very serviceable big in the league. Amir also has many intangibles that Ed does not. He is the Raptors greatest hustler. He is an awesome finisher from directly under the hoop. He and Jose also have great chemistry. When Bargs is healthy Amir’s game flourishes. With a healthy Bargs next year Amir willonce again round into form.

    Ed might be serviceable player someday but I don’t see it happening in T.O. His lack of effort or enthusiasm puts Amir way ahead of him in my books. His role at this stage of his career should include injecting some energy into the ACC whenever he hits the floor. Games are influenced by more than just baskets and rebounds. Ed needs to bring the hustle more consistently…If he couldn’t do this in his rookie or sophomore season will it ever be a part of his game?

    Except for a scattered off game Amir always brings it when he hits the
    floor. He’s also a glue guy for the Raps and has an ability to keep the guys together. He’s a great team player.

    Keep Amir.

    • 2damkule

      the problem i have with amir is that he doesn’t seem to ‘get it,’ and at this stage of his career, and after this many years in the L, i think that’s a bit of a concern.  and i think you’re underplaying amir’s ‘scattered off games’ – they were quite prevalent last year, as he went through (apparently) some off court shit that impacted his game…which in & of itself is a bit of a piss poor excuse for an energy/hustle guy. 

    • John

      ” He might never be an all-star but I think there is still plenty of room for improvement”

      Actually there is NOT. Amir has been in the league for almost 6 years now. I know he did not get enough playing time at first and … But many in NBa believe that despot the amount of playing time you get, after 4 -5 years, you are the player that you are and there will not be any more MAJOR improvements.

      So Amir is what Amir is  NOW, a Hustle guy, with limited skills, problem with fouling, some problem with consistency and little over priced.

  • Dc

    Let’s be fair here guys each player should get the minimum of 7 years regular playing time and guaranteed minutes. Before making an assumption on their potential or what their good at. Ed and Amir both or the ultimate enigmas. Lmao.

    • cesco

       We have to assume that the management has decided that an enigma who can spread the floor , shoot the threes , handle double coverage , go to the free flow line and defend well one on one is a tad more difficult to find that a PF who make a living under the basket and get rebounds and put backs and average 7 points or so per 24 minutes of play .

      • sleepz

        The enigma you are referring to is the most overrated player ever to wear a Rap’s uniform in the teams existence.

        GM’s around the league are laughing at us as we trot out the “enigma of overvalue” as a future all-star and outbid ourselves giving him a contract no other team in the league would ever dare contemplate.

      • sleepz

        4’s in this league also need to have some type of physicality to their game. 

        The position demands it and the longer this organization continues to  skirt around this fact the longer it will take for them to be an actual team again that can achieve some success. 

        • Raps4Ever

          “4’s in this league also need to have some type of physicality to their game.
          The position demands it…”

          Like Dirk, eh….. There’s different ways to skin a cat. Of the 4 teams left standing, which two are formed the same? They each found different formulas.

          • Nilanka15

            Over the course of his career, Dirk has been a far more “physical” player than Bargnani. 

            His rebounding numbers have dipped a bit lately, but let’s not forget that Dirk averaged 8+ rebounds per game, for nine straight seasons. 

            It’s hard to rebound that well without being “physical”.

          • sleepz

            Are you kidding me? Dirk is a physical player my friend, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. No shying away from contact for Mr. Nowitzki and he knows when he needs to put his down and go to the rim to get fouled.

            I’m shocked you would think that he has no physicality to his game.

            • CJT

              Doesn’t AB get to the rim and get fouled pretty well too?

              • sleepz

                Not like Dirk. I don’t even like mentioning the 2 in the same sentence as one player is a former MVP that has gotten it done in big time situations, while the other is still living off of 7 years of “potential” and has never shown the desire or passion required to be a good player.

                Dirk invites contact, AB avoids it.

                • CJT

                  I am not trying to compare them in terms of what they have done etc.  But I don’t believe AB shies away from contact at all.  Many of his fakes are designed to get people off the ground to take contact.  Dirk is amazing, and I am not saying otherwise, but don’t think what you are saying about AB is true. 

          • p00ka_is_a_fish

            They only reason why Dirk was ever considered “Soft” was b/c he took jumpshots when the defense switched a smaller guy on him instead of posting up.

            He also averaged 9 reb for like 8 years.

  • EarthJuice

    I love both Ed and Amir. Amir is one of those heart and soul players every contending team requires. He leaves it out there every single game. You can be assured as a child, his knees were always scabbed or bleeding and the stream of snot running down his nose was constant. His character is exceptional and he is a team-player. He is getting banged up however. Not that it stops him from playing. It doesn’t. But eventually it will take it’s toll. Eventually.

    Last summer did Ed Davis no favours. No one needed off-season training guidance more than this then-rookie. Instead – due to the lockout – the Raptors braintrust gave him his marching orders in late-June and essentially said “We will followup with you in December”. For a young player who does not yet have a NBA off-season training regimen, and who more than anyone on his team, needed to work with the coaches last summer. He ended up essentially setting up his own workout schedule/routine, which I am sure put him in great phyical condition, but left him without a mentor to work on his jumpshot and footwork around the basket.

    Ed has a natural gift for tracking the ball for rebounds on missed shots. He has a natural acumen for being at the right place and the right time. I think we saw more of this his rookie season than we did last season. I think with that natural ball-sense/IQ and good coaching Ed could end up something very special. I am afraid some will judge him on his sophomore season being a stepback. I feel that could not be further from the truth. Ed esssentially lost almost a full season of development last year. This summer he will be working with the coaches and will not be left to his own devices. I expect to see a big step forward for Ed next season.

    It is a very tough call, but I would choose Ed over Amir, if one of them has to go. We pretty much know what we are going to get from Amir, going forward. And what you are going to get is very good. But I think Ed has a natural feel for the game, that once his physical ability catches up with his nose for the ball, I think he could be the shotblocking defensive force we need down low. I will also factor in his lower salary as a plus.

  • Giancarlo

    We need to get rid of Bargnani and possibly DeRozan, this will allow for another year of tanking and a guaranteed record of being a bottom 3 team in the league. Give this year’s pick and big Val minutes, and rotate them with scrubby veterans. Ergo, we avoid mediocrity and get a potential star player from next year’s draft. That way, we time all their development perfectly, win,  and win often. This is what a smart GM would do, Bargnani and DeRozan will lead us nowhere.

    • sleepz

      You mentioned a “smart GM” or for me even a realistic one, which is crucial.

      Colangelo is the enigma of all enigma’s when it comes to GM’s.

      • Giancarlo

        True, but smart GMs are realistic ones and vice versa. We’ll see what he does this summer as he’s got some things to work with and is in a good position as far as flexibility goes, this is perhaps his biggest offseason as GM of the Toronto Raptors, hope he makes the most of it.

        • sleepz

          Agreed.

          I’m starting to get a little tired of the “flexibility” that is being bantered around by BC and the rest of the media.

          I’d rather have “talent” than “flexibility”.

          If you can leverage your financial options into talent, then it’s all good, but I will believe it after I see it.

          • Giancarlo

            “If you can leverage your financial options into talent, then it’s all good, but I will believe it after I see it.”

            Precisely. Well said.

          • CJT

            I was thinking the same thing, but financial flexibility has been a buzzword being thrown around by a lot of owners and GM’s over the past year.  If Cuban is letting his core players leave to create more flexibility and get closer to the cap it makes one think that these guys are worried about the flexibility and penalties of overspending.

            • sleepz

              Good point. Look at where it got Cuban and Dallas?
              I’ve never seen a championship team fall off as much as they did this year.

              • CJT

                Agreed.  I think we are going to see more teams try and do more with less.  I would rather have the flexibility to pick up players once other teams have to trim to get closer to the cap.  And then do exactly what you said.  Turn flexibility in to talent. 

    • NyAlesund

       You are genius! Another useless year for what? For a possible first pick? Like the Bobcats? What happened if Val turned out to be not really good? Are you sure that the next year the pick number one is going to be a potential star? Who are you, a clairvoyant?
      We start to build a competitive team now.

  • Delonte_West

    Amir Johnson all day. he is a better player than davis, and he actually wants to be in toronto. That combo is hard to find these days, amir is a keeper

    • j bean

      +1

  • stromboli

    .
    A tough call – and probably one that will be out of BC’s hands.

    Ed Davis should have more appeal to other GM’s. They’ll know that Ed hasn’t had a true camp yet. His salary, youth, and “potential” will intrigue these Bosses.

    Amir is a solid player, who is ideal for the Secondary. And he’s comfortable with this role (unlike Bayless) – a factor that ‘s important to rebuilding our Secondary. His contract is manageable, and amnesty-able (lol). Plus he’s true hustle.
    .

    Amir had a few things going wrong this year – personal issues, hurts, missing AB – so its’ difficult to make a rational decision on him, at this time. As such, I think he’s the wise choice (and probable one – see 1st line) to stay.

    The decision for Colangelo will – as many have said here – revolve around what the offers are for Davis, or for Amir.

    .

  • Nilanka15

    I wouldn’t mind seeing either Davis or Amir traded (or both).  Since we’re talking about a bench role, I don’t see either player having
    a noticeably bigger impact than the other.  IMO, it’s a wash.

    The only thing Davis has going for him, is his youth.  I just don’t see the “upside” everyone keeps talking about.  He’s not skilled at particularly anything.

    Amir is the [slightly] better player right now, but is his contract worth it?  Absolutely not.

    • sleepz

      I’d like to see Ed get an opportunity like the other lottery picks have received on this team. Force fed minutes to see what you have in him. It’s the Colangelo way.

      They staretd doing it in year 1 and he looked great towards the end of the year. This past year however the plans changed and he was now competing for a back-up role with Amir without ever having a fair chance to compete for the starting role.

      If given equal opportunity to earn minutes and a role on this team,  I still reserve hope for him to start showing us he has game. 

  • Destro

    Edward would be the one to go since Amir’s contract aint going anywhere…

  • 511

    If we were talking about Amir from the year before, I think it’d be a tough call. But this past season, I didn’t like what we saw from Amir Johnson … quite as much. He seemed injured or a little injured half the time (at least) … and he had whatever head-fuck it was that sapped some of the joy out of his game it seemed, so, between that, the injuries that started to feel like they might be chronic (even though he toughs it out as well as anyone could) and the bigger $ he costs, I’d say we should trade Amir and keep Ed. 

  • Maputo88

    Can we keep both these guys and turn Andrea Bargnani into MKG + a point guard from Charlotte. Does this make any sense?

  • Koncept

    Man how can you not love Amir’s hustle. No question here. Trade Ed for something good based on his “potential” before they figure us out!

  • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

    MOVING FORWARD – Davis or Johnson ? ” You cannot be serious ! ”

    MOVING FORWARD – Davis or Bargnani ? Do you All remember as I do ? and was just last year ! You can’t see but I m actually laughing out loud.

    Ed Davis, plain and simple : NGE (not good enough by D Casey)

    Its just D.Casey opinion,if you have time, just check his comments. We saw Casey  benching him all year long because he hasn’t done enough. We are talking about D.Casey (mastermind of Mavs D, recuerda usted?) no Altrap o Giancarlo

    Potential,Potential and Potential
    I m watching all the PO  and looking at the Thunder I remember myself that Ed Davis is older than Serge Ibaka and James Harden and just a few month younger than Westbrook and Durant. 
    Can you see POTENTIAL ? STFU

    Parle vu le Francais

    • DC

      You talk about Ed Davis and how he lacks potential compared to ibaka and James H and Durant and Westbrook. Because he’s similiar to age but he’s only been in the league 2 years. This is coming from someone that still sees potential in AB. The 7 year starter. The no allstar game maker. The avg 5 rebounds per game center (oops I meant pf). Mr 13. games hall of famer. Mr. we only have one the division once since hes been on this team difference maker. Mr. 27 year old about to turn into dirk, anytime now. If its anyone that needs to STFU about potential it’s probably you. Give Ed D his 6 years with starter minutes and well see. 

    • p00ka_is_a_fish

      Fanboy your still hung over AB7’s 38 pt and his potential “dirk-like” you need to STFU.

    • Giancarlo

      I don’t know if you are Italian, but it is not an excuse to be blind to the facts that he is a player in his 7th year that has shown many weaknesses in his game and is not someone to be built around, much less a piece of the puzzle, at least with this team. If you have the patriotic sense in you, you will know that countryman Andrea has told Federazione Italiana Pallacanestro that he will not be playing for the national team this summer.  He does not have fatigue on his side as an excuse, as there were no playoffs for the Raptors, and he only played 31 games, nothing! His conditioning is a big question mark, as is his motivation, although I think both of those have been answered already. If Andrea had just half the heart of say a Jose Calderon, he would be one to keep. In Italy we like those that have a passion for what they do, putting in their heart and soul into it, Andrea has not changed in this regard, and never will. We must start over.

      • Raps4Ever

        LOL, whatever tag you usually go by, that’s some lame attempt at repping Italians, but not as lame as your attempt to turn a commitment that AB is making, to the Raps and next season, into something………………. rather different, shall we say.
        Have you reached puberty yet?

        • Giancarlo

          I do not go by another “tag” although you would know something about going by different monikers as others have repeatedly suggested. You are a waste of time, go and read a book.

      • cesco

         If Andrea re injure that calf this summer then his career may well be over . By not playing competitively until the preseason start he is giving himself the best chance of a complete recovery even though he says he feels fine right now . If the Italian team which will probably have Gallo as their leader ( Belinelli , a free agent , may play if he find a team after July 1st that will let him play for his national team ) cannot go past the qualifiers then not much is lost as the team does not have the players to be competitive .

        • cesco

           Their third or fourth best player , Alessandro Gentile ,  a 20 year old who was voted fifth best young European player this year ( Jonas was # 1 ) will also be unavailable as he as to undergo surgery .

          • Giancarlo

            Andrea meshes well with the team, the team was rather weak and young and will be weaker, especially with Belinelli in major doubt to play as well.  It is looking more and more like Pianigiani only has Gallinari as the main and perhaps only legitimate scoring threat. Gentile is also a loss, I love his competitive spirit, but he would have came off the bench with Carraretto at that spot. As per Andrea I do not buy that a calf injury can keep him out this long, he is supposed to be a high-level conditioned athlete, he missed 35 games, only played 31. He has had plenty of time to heal, it is only a calf strain not an ACL tear! He seems more intent to chase around his supermodel girlfriend in western Catania than take basketball as a serious profession.

            • cesco

              Well , it is a little less strenuous to chase your girlfriend around (and more fun) than risk a re-injury . We do not know how bad the injury was , do we .

            • 2damkule

              ‘only a calf strain’??  you don’t fuck around with calf ‘strains’ (or anything calf-related, for the most part).  i’m not one who routinely agrees with cesco, but it is a serious injury, not because it alone is ‘career threatening,’ but because it is soooo prone to re-injury.  i would have been shocked if he’d played for italy…i don’t question his desire to play for his national team, but he must realize the value in resting/healing.  and i’m pretty sure that while BC et al didn’t state it in uncertain terms that he couldn’t play for italy (because they can’t prevent him from doing so), they likely ‘suggested’ that he take the summer off to recuperate fully.  and hell, maybe even work on his game.

              • Giancarlo

                He has not played since April 8th. 8 weeks later and it still is not healed?? A broken bone heals faster! It’s a strain not a tear. If 8 weeks is not enough for a calf strain to heal, then what is enough? 8 months?

                • Raps4Ever

                  Depending on severity, a calf strain can take anywhere from 1 week to 6 months to recover. What is your knowledge of his injury, and medical knowledge, that gives you the expertise to judge his recovery? Do some reading. It would be a nice change from playing the internet fool.

                • Giancarlo

                  What is your knowledge of his injury, and medical knowledge, that gives YOU the expertise to judge his recovery? Yahoo answers?? Wikipedia?? You have nothing, but blind defence of a player on your side, 6 months hahaha. So you will give him 6 months to recover from the strain, and 6 years for him to show he can be a good player. You are beyond a joke.

                • Raps4Ever

                  I didn’t profess to know anything about his injury. You did, over and over now, in questioning his skipping national team shit this summer, in favour of working with Raps training staff and coaching staff.
                  Sooooooo, you’re the one saying his prognosis should be different than what we’re being fed. Share your expertise and show us you’re not a “joke”. 

            • NyAlesund

              Have you ever had a calf strain? I got it, and believe me is a pain in the ass. When you think is ok, suddenly is coming out hurting you. I am not a professional atlete but my physiotherapist said to me that is common to reinjured if you force the riabilitation. Imagine an professional 7 footer.In addition the Italian National team has a possibility to pass the qualification (the first two of the group and the best 4 place in third position) without put AB in any dangerous situation.

  • skip

    To me, this decision completely depends on how much work Davis is putting in right now. He finally has a chance to put on real muscle in his first healthy off-season. I’m sure the Raptors coaches have given him a plan. If he hasn’t been disciplined then their decision is easy. If he has, then we keep him and expect the type of player that was originally anticipated, before finally comparing him to Amir.

  • Roarque

    It’s becoming obvious to anyone watching the playoffs that OKC is about to become the Edmonton Oilers of the NBA. Small Market team with astonishing up-side due to draft picks that is maturing into a powerhouse that will embarass the New York and Boston and Miami teams who’ve tried to buy a championship.

    Hey, this could be the Toronto scenario – a city that the superstars don’t want to play in that suddenly emerges as the best team in the league. Remember the Blue Jays in 1990? Nobody wanted to play baseball in TO back then either.

    Enough of the cross-sport comparisons. The big question is: does Toronto have the right intangibles to turn their current crop of draft picks into an OKC lookalike.

    AB morphs into Kevin Durant
    DDR gets Russel Westbrook’s self-confidence
    Ed Davis checks out Serge Ibaka and likes what he sees in the mirror
    Jonas is already better than Kendrick Perkins
    Jose gets to play Derek Fisher
    and James Harden? hmmmm, maybe Jerryd Bayless?

    Pinch me, I’m dreamin’

    • Raptorboy

       Not sure if a pinch will do it. You need a snap kick to your jaw!!

      • Roarque

        Thanks, I needed that – my only defense is that I hallucinated while watching the incredible ball being played in OKC and “San Antone”. What if’s got the better of me!

    • DC

      A pinch definantly wouldn’t be enough.  how bout a roundhouse kick to the face?

      • Roarque

        Sorry Dc, but Raptorboy dropped me first – if I get up, you’re next!

  • http://test.com/ torrentman

    We will see if that is the case

  • John

    Here are the number from nba.com , not adjusted and with BS added to swing it for one player or another: 
            MPG    FG%     FT%     OFF   DEF    RPG    APG   SPG   BPG  TO    PF    PPG 
    ED    23.2    0.513   0.67      2.0    4.6     6.6     0.9    0.6    1.0    1.0   2.4   6.3
    Amir 24.3    0.576   0.69      2.3    4.0     6.4     1.2    0.5    1.1    1.5   3.3   7.1

    Salary:
                 2011     2012     2013      2014
    Ed          2.0       2.2       3.1        4.3
    Amir       5.5       6.0      6.5         7.0

    • 2damkule

      exactly!!! thank you thank you thank you.  clearly, you’re a dude who’s got his finger on the pulse of what contrbutes to winning.  raw stats!!! 

      • Nilanka15

        lol

        Warning about using too much sarcasm:  Some will think you’re serious…

      • Tim

        Yes, he uses raw data but you use your imaginary matrix to show how awsome Amir is. Do you belong to the same camp that were screaming Amir is our best offensive option last season when he was coming of the bench ? That he needs more touches on the offensive end and how compare to gooden he was not over paid ?!! Yes, we all saw how that turn out.

        This guy just showed you how the numbers are, yes, the raw numbers !!!
        How you want to relate that to wining is beyond me !! Wait, I know, your imaginary non-quanitfyable  matrix does that for you LOOOOLLL

        • Statement

          I don’t remember anybody saying that Amir was our best offensive weapon.

          I do remember people saying that he was one of the most efficient scores on the team (FG% 57.6).  This would of course drop if he had to take an increased scoring responsibility.

          As to who I would keep, I’d keep Amir as although he is a solid veteran, he is still young.  Really though, I don’t really care too much about the PF backups.

          • p00ka_is_a_fish

            6 seasons in the NBA and he still is foul-prone, only averages 4 pts a game… what a solid veteran.

            • Statement

              4 pts a game? WTF?

              • p00ka_is_a_fish

                okay 6 pts a game BIG WHOOP! what a solid vet. 
                I havent seen any improvement in his game and on top of the fact that he’s foul-prone he’s also injury prone. 

                I’m tired of hearing how Amir is a warrior he’s playing hurt.. etc. If he’s playing then he aint hurt [Period]

        • 2damkule

          sigh. 

  • FAQ

    I say trade both of them and create a Twin Towers attack with Bargs and JonasV… both of whom can attack the basket and hopefully rebound.  Then try to build up the guard and wing positions with veterans and rookies for outside scoring.

    Forget about defence because that requires big athletic bodies which the Raps don’t and won’t have in the foreseeable future.  Just high scoring fun b’ball for the tribal honking fans who only want to watch the bally go into the holey.

    • DC

      Lol. You must like finishing in the top 5 every year then. 

    • cesco

       We will forget defense over my dead body , says Casey .

  • NyAlesund

    First of all AB won’t play this summer because of his injury. Both team (Raptors and Italy) have agreed about his decision to stop and recovery at his best, to prevent that calf injury get worse and chronic. It’s ridiculous read someone talking about disaffection for his national team. Totally crap.

    If AB is not going to be an All Star (90%), I am sure at 100% that ED and Amir are not going to be better than a role player.

    We can discuss from now untill the end of the summer about AB, but he is now the best player of this crap team. Hence, I can’t think to trade him for decent player, while we have an opportunity to trade some guys (Amir, Ed, Kleiza…) to add talent around him, DD, Val. I am reading about Gay and the possible scenario. For me trade Amir or Ed, Calderon and the pick for Rudy is a great idea. Also, with the space there are the possibility to sign a good point guard.

    For me Ed or Amir shoud be the pieces to put in any trade that allow us to add talent.

    Nash/Dragic, Derozan, Gay, Bargnani and Valanciunas. Not bad as starting five.

  • Bradley Dhawan

    I think it can go both ways.

    Obviously Amir has more experience than Ed, which could be the reasoning for his better production, and Ed’s lack of.

    Personally, I’d wanna keep Amir around. Even on his off nights he hustled. The fact of the matter is, he is still really young, being drafted straight out of high school

    I like ed davis, but I believe we could get a solid piece to add depth to our sf or sg position. He is young, great potential. Raptors gotta stop on the experiments now, we got a solid team. Jonas comes in, a big offensive signing, surrounded by SOLID roleplayers. (players who know their roles and shut their mouths)

    I dont wanna see Bayless back. sorry. I rather have calderon than bayless. Bayless gets hurt way to much, and its just beginning signs.

    This needs a few solid vets.

    I would love to see Nash in toronto, but I also want my bc homie to win a championship.

    Anyways, I am pumped for the upcoming season. How awesome would it be if we got Granger ( who I doubt will leave Indiana) or Gay. With Calderon, Derozen, Bargnani and Valanciunas…………………..    Next season is going to be fucking unreal!

  • Bradley Dhawan

    btw, ANDREA SHOWED GREAT SPURTS OF IMPROVEMENT LAST YEAR. He will be a noteworthy player this year without a doubt. Once he is settled in, it was quite clear what he was capable of. As long as he stays healthy. So all you barg’s haters need to calm the fuck down. Dudes good. Really good. Not sure if their are many other PF`s int he league I`d take over him…… Fuck david west, lamarcus is a fragile fucker, pau gasol is past his prime, as with Dirk, Garnett, Boozer, Brand, etc etc etc etc etc etc.. Blake doesn`t nearly have as good as an all around game is Bargs…… I`d say BOSH, but we already had him. ANYWAYS. BARGS HATERS SUCK IT!!!!

  • Fireburn

    I dont understand what the difference in over 100 NBA games cannot provide that a measly training camp can? Training camp is usually conditioning for the actual game, its not going to turn you into a whole new player…

    • 2damkule

      IMO, training camp is about establishing a comfort level on the court with your teammates, developing chemistry, learning what it is your coach wants/expects, and becoming comfortable competing with NBA-calibre talent (insert joke re. lack of NBA-calibre talent on the raptor’s roster here).  so much of ed’s issues are – or seem to be – a matter of not quite understanding the game at this level…timing, positioning, speed/overall athletic ability of players in the L.  it seems he’s never really adjusted to the quality of play in the NBA.

  • Theswirsky

    “Does Davis have enough upside remaining at age 23 to warrant a “free pass” for Amir’s superior defensive statistics”

    Defense Rating (lower is better):

    Amir 102
    Ed 101

    Defensive Win Share (higher is better):

    Amir 2.0
    Ed 2.3

    Ed has the ‘superior’ defensive statistics.  Although they are incredibly close and not necessarily worth calling one ‘better’ than the other. 

    • Raps4Ever

      Forever the stat whore, eh. Another glaring example of bare stats being for suckers. It’s laughable if you feel those stats are relevant to proving that Ed’s “deer in the headlights, these guys are too strong, this is all happening too fast” defense (currently) is the equal or better than Amir.

      • Derek

        Not only do you bitch about everything else on the site, but now you bitch about factual stats? Numbers don’t lie, so stop disputing them bozo.

        • Raps4Ever

          lol, tell me what this “bitch about everything else on the site” is that you refer to. I respond directly to posts.
          Numbers do lie, but one needs an IQ greater than 50 to understand that, so I respect your ignorance.

          • Derek

            You respond directly to posts, but you don’t post facts. You can debate opinion, but you debate facts, which is insane. You’re the kind of guy that would debate the existence of gravity, and whether the planets revolve around the sun. Basically, you bitch, especially when any facts dispute your opinion(s). If you heard yourself, you’d know how dumb you sound.

            • Raps4Ever

              So educate me with your brilliance.
              1. What goes into the stats that you say are “facts”?
              2. How do these “facts” prove defensive ability, and that ED is Amir’s equal on defense?
              3. Should who you’re defending have any bearing on judging a player’s defensive skills? Is it the same guarding a starter vs 3rd string? How do the “facts” account for this?
              4. Can you show me any videos of Ed defending a quality opponent, that shows the ability you speak of?
               

              • Derek

                Don’t waste my time with your useless questions, you’re the one that needs to educate yourself on statistics and numbers, but I’ll try to educate you, even though its a lost cause.

                 
                Defensive rating is an estimate of the player’s points allowed per 100 defensive possessions (Opponent’s Points Allowed/ Opponent’s Possessions) x 100) defensive win share is mainly derived from defensive rating, along with 3 other statistics (marginal defence/points per win). So what, do you think someone just pulled magical numbers of their ass and came up with some random formula  that didn’t prove anything? So is it a coincidence that a player like KG would have a better defensive rating than say DeRozan? Or any well-know defensive player would?

                 

                I’ll take that kind of factual empirical evidence any day over a fan such as yourself casually observing a game at home from his couch, and making arbitrary judgements based on OPINION on what he thinks is good or not, regardless of what the numbers say. 

                • Raps4Ever

                  It’s called knowing the game, and only an imbecile who doesn’t would rely upon those stats to prove ED’s  defensive ability.

                • Derek

                  Knowing the game? What qualifies you to say you know the game lol? Based on your responses, you don’t know jack shit. Many NBA coaching staffs rely on advanced stats, players get paid in large part based on stats, the game revolves around it.

                  But nice response, expected nothing more.

    • Statement

      I agree that they appear to be similiar in terms of defensive impact.

      Some systems (see Liston’s link) put Amir as the better defender.  I guess overall, the data says that they are a wash.

      Would still take Amir though, just cause I like his offensive game better.  Dude has a pretty good finishing ability in traffic. 

      Davis, as of now, has stone-hands.

  • IROR

    Ed has better contract but higher trade value…Amir is a better player at this juncture…hmm
    either way, the raps first big off the bench will be solid.  Im not too worried about how this ends, althoug I would prefer to keep ED — the guy is going into year 3 and STILL hasn’t had a full summer and training camp.   Think you gotta wait and see with him…

  • Due

    One difference that was failed to mention. Trade value.
    Ed would recieve alot more in trade assets due to his salary and potential. I don’t see anyone wanting Amir with his contract.

  • FAQ

    Just look at this ludicrous discussion ….. Amir this… Davis that… maybe this… maybe that…. THEY ARE SCRUBS, YA MORONS …. THEY AREN’T EVEN ‘DEVELOPMENT’ PLAYERS…!!!!

    • TribalHonkingFan

      we don’t care if they are scrubs or not, they are part of the team and two of our best players!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510546111 Kyle Machan Weber

    I vote to keep Davis.  He hasn’t been given a chance to do anything yet, as you said with the effect of his injured wrist and the lock out.  Amir isn’t going to get any better, but I think Davis will.  I feel like Ed has a good head on his shoulders and will listen to coaches, and I think Casey will turn him into a defensive beast, because wasn’t that a main reason for drafting him?  I thought he was a bust this season, but in his rookie year he made the most of his minutes.  It makes sense to continuously cut down the Raptors age to get a young squad that will buy into a system and grow together until it works.

    But really why do we need to trade one?  Why can’t Amir play back up centre, and Davis play back up PF?  Didn’t Amir play C a lot of the time last season anyways?