Utah to trade veteran big man Ed Davis to New York

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Ed Davis is a solid veteran NBA center, but in the Utah Jazz rotation last season — with Rudy Gobert as the primary five and some smaller lineups — he played a limited role. Then Utah drafted Kansas big man Udoka Azubuike in the first round on Wednesday, shrinking Davis’s role.

So Utah has reportedly agreed to trade Davis to the Knicks for a second-round pick, something first reported by Tony Jones of The Athletic.

For Utah, this frees up $5 million in cap space, not a ton but for a team that wants to re-sign Jordan Clarkson this offseason and knows the max extension for Donovan Mitchell is looming, every dollar counts.

For Tom Thibodeau’s Knicks, Davis will back up Mitchell Robinson and Obi Toppin (especially after the team waived Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson earlier on Thursday). Davis, 31, will not put up big numbers but plays a smart game and can give the Knicks 15 solid minutes a night. More importantly, he is a well-liked and very professional veteran leader, the kind every young team needs in the locker room. Davis also will have value on the trade market at the deadline if the Knicks want to go that way.

Plus the Knicks get a couple of second round picks for their trouble.