Ed Davis: Utah Jazz are “Ready To Play” When NBA Returns

Jun 15, 2020, 12:54 PM | Updated: 1:10 pm

Ed Davis (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)...

Ed Davis (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz center Ed Davis wants to see the NBA season resume. The veteran big man spoke to HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy about the latest turmoil regarding the season’s return. Despite the concerns, Davis said his Jazz teammates are “ready to play.”

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard have voiced their opposition to finishing the season. A percentage of the league’s players fear that the NBA returning would serve as a distraction from the protests for racial equality that have swept the nation. Other players, including Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, are worried about the injury risk they face by returning to action.

Davis, a 10-year veteran said he understood the players’ arguments against finishing the season. However, the reserve center sees he close to the season as an opportunity to institute change for the Black community.

Davis on Jazz and NBA Return to Play

Davis told Kennedy that based on his conversation with teammates, the Jazz are ready to play.

“I know a couple guys from the Jazz have concerns,” Davis said. “But in our group chat when we talk, everybody’s on board and we’re ready to play.”

Davis cited both Mitchell and teammate Jordan Clarkson as having opportunities to sign contract extensions this offseason. The veteran said he recognized the risk they face by returning to the floor without a new deal.

“If I’m Jordan Clarkson or Donovan [Mitchell], I might not want to play,” Davis said. “Just for the simple fact that I had a good year and I’m looking for a contract extension, so why would I risk getting hurt?”

Mitchell is a candidate to sign a contract extension this summer before his rookie deal expires in 2021. The Jazz are likely to extend the guard a max offer sheet worth well over $100 million. Clarkson will be an unrestricted free agent.

On a call among some 80 NBA players Friday, Mitchell voiced his concern about the pandemic and the injury risk. Davis was also on the call.

“Sources say that Donovan expressed his concerns about coronavirus (which he has already had) and the very high risk of injury.” Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks tweeted. “That was the context of his comments on playing/not playing.”

While Davis understands the risk pending free agents face, he also said that not playing poses significant financial harm to young players. There is a strong belief around the league that NBA owners will use their power to abandon the current CBA to negotiate a new agreement over the summer. With Basketball Related Income dropping dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic, league owners may force the players into a less friendly share of the league’s income.

“If we don’t play, I honestly think there’s a chance that we won’t play next year,” Davis warned.

“It’s more about the future guys – a guy like Donovan Mitchell, who is looking at a $160 million contract but he might only get $90 million if the cap drops.”

Using the Season to Support Equality

In addition to supporting future players, Davis sees finishing the season as a way to help the Black community. The center said he has been a long time supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and wants to see the NBA use its platform to further racial equality.

“We can take that money – those billions and billions of dollars – that we’re going to make and pour it back in the community,” Davis said. “You can look at it like that – that us losing out on that money would hurt generations of people.”

“You got to have money to do some of these things and make some of these things happen. [Change] isn’t just gonna happen because of us boycotting and not playing and shutting it down. And then, we’re really gonna be set back.”

Davis sees the unique circumstances of having 22 teams in one city to finish the season as an opportunity to spur change.

“It’s the only time you’re going to get 22 teams together for seven weeks, so we can really get down and meet every couple of weeks and do some really cool things,” Davis said. “There’s some really great stuff that we can do for the world. I feel like all of us doing it together and working with the NBA and working with these owners, we can really help out.”

Separation Among NBA Players

One of the issues plaguing the NBA Players Association is the discrepancy in earnings between veterans and young players. Davis recognized that he has made a significant living during his career, but younger players may not be as financially set.

“It means a lot more when it comes from the role players and the guys that [aren’t stars],” Davis said of finishing the season. “There are so many different perspectives because there are so many different levels in the NBA. Like I said, it’s so easy for the superstars to say, ‘Let’s just not play,’ and they’re good. But some guys can’t just do that. There are lives on the line and, like I said, generational wealth on the line.”

Before the season returns, the NBA and the NBA Players Association are expected to agree on terms that would allow those players to sit out the remainder of the season.

“The NBA and NBPA are expected to agree on a provision that wouldn’t require players to restart the season, nor subject them to discipline for staying home,” sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “The players would lose a portion of salary for those games missed.

As calls to end the season persist, Davis wants to see the league return next month.

“I’m all for us playing and I feel like we need to play,” Davis said. “I think a lot of these guys know really need to educate themselves on what’s really going to happen if we do take a stand and don’t play.”

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz


Ben Anderson

Will Hardy: Jazz ‘Not Trying To Drag This Out Into’ Long Rebuild

Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy said the organization isn't planning to undergo an extended process to rebuild the team.

1 day ago

Utah Jazz general manager Justin Zanik and Utah Jazz CEO Danny Ainge talk to journalists during an ...

Ben Anderson

Can The Utah Jazz Trade Up In The Draft?

With the NBA Draft less than two weeks away, could the Utah Jazz realistically trade up in the first round?

1 day ago

Jarace Walker #25 of the Houston Cougars reacts during the second half against the Auburn Tigers...

Ben Anderson

Jarace Walker NBA Draft Analysis

The Utah Jazz own three first-round selections in the 2023 NBA draft, and will look closely at Houston forward Jarace Walker.

2 days ago

Nick Smith Jr. #3 of the Arkansas Razorbacks warms up before a game against the Mississippi State B...

Ben Anderson

NBA Draft Insider Peek: Draft Opens Up At Jazz Ninth Pick

Yahoo Sports insider Krysten Peek said the talent in the NBA draft dips just before the Utah Jazz are on the clock with the ninth pick.

3 days ago

Steve Wojciechowski speaks during a press conference after being introduced as the new Salt Lake Ci...

Ben Anderson

Stars Introduce Steve Wojciechowski As Head Coach

The Salt Lake City Stars officially introduced Steve Wojciechowski as the team's new head coach on Wednesday.

3 days ago

Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith...

Ben Anderson

Ryan Smith: Anyone With ‘Rabbit Ears’ Will Catch Jazz Games

Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith hinted that the team's games will be available to fans without a cable or satellite subscription next season.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

Ed Davis: Utah Jazz are “Ready To Play” When NBA Returns