Forward Ed Davis played a reduced role with the Memphis Grizzlies last season after being included in a trade from the Toronto Raptors. It didn't help Davis fight for a lucrative extension to his rookie contract like so many other members of his 2010 draft class, but he might get one anyway.
Davis is considered a darkhorse candidate to earn an extension from the Grizzlies. ESPN's Marc Stein lists him with Eric Bledsoe as a "possible" candidate to receive an extension prior to the Oct. 31 deadline.
Extensions are historically rare for role players, but Davis is regarded in some corners as the heir to Zach Randolph's frontcourt spot alongside Marc Gasol, with Z-Bo down to this season and next season's $16.9 million option left on his contract at 32. Though it remains to be seen if negotiations progress to the serious stage, sources say that Davis' camp and the Grizzlies have been discussing a deal this month.
Davis certainly has proved worthy of such a deal when he's gotten the playing time, but it remains to be seen how he will hold up as a starting forward.
Stuck behind Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, Davis didn't get much run under former coach Lionel Hollins last year, and he played 15 minutes per game to average 5.5 points and 4.1 rebounds. It was a major drop-off from his 9.7 points and 6.9 rebounds averaged in 24 minutes per game with the Raptors in 2012-13, before he was shipped to Memphis as part of the Rudy Gay trade.
The preseason has gone well for him, however.
The 13th overall pick from the 2010 draft is averaging 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds in six preseason games, where he has seen extended minutes and playing time alongside both Gasol and Randolph.