Ed Davis declines player option with Lakers, becomes an unrestricted free agent

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Ed Davis averaged 8.3 points and 7.8 rebounds while appearing in 23.3 minutes per contest for what was a dismal Lakers team last year, and he could have chosen to return by activating his player option for just over $1.1 million for next season.

But size is always at a premium, and because Davis is capable of producing in a frontcourt role, it’s likely that he’ll be able to secure more guaranteed money over more years to play somewhere else.

From Lakers.com:

Ed Davis … became a free agent when he did not pick up the option on the second year of his contract with Los Angeles. The 25-year-old was effective in the pick-and-roll and on the offensive glass, while providing quality defense at the rim from the weak side, and on his man.

Davis needed to make 18 more baskets to qualify for the NBA’s field goal percentage leaderboard, where he would have ranked second at 60.1 behind only DeAndre Jordan.

The Lakers have very few players with guaranteed contract for next season. Once you get past Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, Julius Randle and Ryan Kelly, there are nothing but question marks remaining, which was largely by design.

L.A. is looking to rebuild quickly just as soon as it gets the chance. The moment an All-Star caliber free agent says yes to a max money offer, the Lakers will then add talent around that person in order to build a team capable of competing on a nightly basis. Until then, they’ll continue to sign players to short-term deals to maximize flexibility. Davis was useful last season, but his choice to pursue a long-term deal elsewhere this summer was completely expected.