Off the Blazers' injured player list, Ed Davis is ... READY TO HUSTLE
Ed Davis isn't playing full-court basketball yet, but that's coming soon.
The Trail Blazers open training camp for the 2017-18 season Sept. 25, and the veteran forward expects to be full-bore after recovering from arthroscopic surgery to repair the labrum in his left shoulder.
"The surgery and rehab went well," the 6-10, 240-pound southpaw says. "I'm glad I got the surgery done. I gave it my all this summer. I'll come into camp 100 percent. I'm good to go."
Davis' last game of the 2016-17 season came Feb. 23, when he played 13 minutes in a 112-103 win over Orlando. He missed the rest of the season, undergoing the knife on March 7.
For the past two weeks, most of the Blazers have been in Portland and have convened for regular pickup games and workout sessions at the Tualatin training facility. Davis hasn't played in the pickup games, but it's mostly for precautionary purposes.
"Being immobilized for so long and then working your way back is a process," says Davis, 28. "But I've been able to do pretty much everything since mid-July. I'll be fully ready by the start of camp."
Davis came to Portland in 2015 after signing a three-year, $20-million free-agent contract. He had a big first season, averaging 6.5 points and 7.4 rebounds in 20.8 minutes off the bench, shooting a team-high .611 from the field and providing rim presence at the defensive end.
But Davis played in only 46 games last season before his injury, and wound up with averages of 4.3 points and 5.3 boards in 17.2 minutes per contest, shooting .528.
"Every year is important, but this year is definitely big," the former North Carolina standout says. "It's my contract year. I didn't play well last year. I feel like I let the people down here. I want to give it everything I've got."
Davis feels he has found a home in Portland and would like to sign a new deal here.
"I really enjoy the organization, the teammates and the coaching staff," he says.
And the fans?
"I don't even have to speak on that," he says. "It's the best fan base in the NBA. They support us when we win and when we struggle, that's for sure. They're the best. I appreciate them having our backs."
The Blazers came on late last season to finish 41-41 and make the playoffs, losing in four games in the first round to eventual NBA champion Golden State.
"It was a tough year for us," Davis says. "Up and down. After the (Jusuf) Nurkic trade, things started to turn around and look good for us. But overall, I consider it a down year. We don't want to get eliminated in the first round. It's always good to make it to the playoffs for experience, but I feel like we could have had a better year."
Davis likes the addition of draft choices Caleb Swanigan and Zach Collins.
"With time," Davis says, "they're both going to be very good players in this league."
The Portland frontcourt will be crowded, with Nurkic, Davis, Swanigan, Collins, Meyers Leonard, Noah Vonleh and Al-Farouq Aminu vying for playing time at the 4 and 5 spots. How does Davis figure in?
"That's up to (coach Terry) Stotts to make those decisions," Davis says. "Our job as players is to be ready. I want to have a big year, to help the team as much as I can. I want to stay healthy and play a big role this season. Hopefully, we can have a great season and go far in the playoffs."
Nurkic, Davis says, "adds toughness, skill and a big body. He's one of the elite starting centers in the league."
Davis would love to be a starter but will accept any role.
"However Stotts uses me, I'll be ready to play," he says. "I'm a team-first guy. Whenever I'm called, I'll be ready."