The NBA Draft unfolded as expected until Utah selected Gordan Hayward with the ninth pick and then things got a little crazy. The pick immediately after this saw Indiana select Paul George while Cole Aldrich also went higher than expected when he was drafted eleventh overall.
This resulted in a player Toronto didn’t think would be available, Ed Davis, sliding down to them at the 13th spot.
The fact Davis fell this far was such a surprise that Toronto didn’t even bring him in for a workout this month as they were sure he would be gone by the 10th pick.
“We were surprised because we didn’t have him on our list of five players we were targeting because we really didn’t think he would available at thirteen,” Jay Triano admitted to the media shortly after the selection was made. “We thought he would be long gone. To have him keep sliding we kept crossing our fingers that he would slide one more. He fell right into our lap which was great.”
Triano felt there were a couple of reasons for the free fall in Davis’ in the draft tonight but he wasn’t worried about any of those potential issues.
“I think maybe his injured hand held him back a bit, but I think more than that everybody thought he would go higher than that so he didn’t work out for certain teams below a certain number,” Jay Triano told the media Thursday evening. “When he doesn’t work out for certain teams they don’t get a feel and he slides. But you guys have seen part of the workouts. What do they really show you? It’s the scouts who watch games all year and evaluate these guys.”
Even though Bryan Colangelo was surprised to see Davis still available he was ready for something like this happening and jumped at the opportunity to draft the talented big man.
“Ed (Davis) was rated a lot higher not only in our minds but in all of the research we had done but there was a scenario we talked about anybody above a certain line, if they dropped to us, we’re taking them,” Colangelo told the media. “Ed was that name. We had a few more names up on our board in the group that we liked but if you stay true to the process and you weed out the names you would clearly take if they came to you then you go ahead and take them.”
Luckily for Toronto, it appears a team ahead of them got cold feet which resulted in a couple of teams passing on Davis.
“There was a lot of interest at a particular pick everyone assumed would be where he landed but perhaps a little bit of a shift up near the top of the draft led that team to make a different decision,” said Colangelo.
Regardless of the reason, Davis managed to slide to Toronto and they were able to select a player that should be able to anchor their defense the next few seasons.
Davis is the third fastest player at the University of North Carolina to swat 100 shots and he accomplished the feet after 51 games while it took Rasheed Wallace 47 games and Sam Perkins 50 games to accomplish the same feat.
Pretty impressive company, if you ask me.
Davis, however, is far from a one trick pony. Last season his season ended prematurely with a broken lunate bone in his left wrist on February 10, 2010, but at that point in time he was leading the ACC in field goal percentage (.578) and blocked shots, was second in rebounding and 15th in scoring. Clearly he’s a guy you can throw on the court that will get “garbage points” without needing plays run for him while also providing the defensive presence the team was searching for. He’ll be able to grab some rebounds, change a ton of shots and he has the athleticism to allow the team to continue to get out and run on the break.
With Chris Bosh likely heading out of town as a free agent and the team looking to move Andrea Bargnani to power forward, that resume makes Davis an ideal pick for Toronto.
“We did a lot of background checks,” Triano explained. “We called Roy Williams one or two picks before and he had nothing but rave reviews. Our scouts were talking to other people. Teams get penciled into certain need or a certain player and sometimes guys slide. When we have a need for rebounding or defense and when he’s efficient with how he shoots the ball it’s a perfect fit for us.”
Even thought thirteen has long been know as an unlucky number, it appears Toronto had a lot of luck on their side tonight.