PORTLAND, Ore. — Trail Blazers fan favorite Ed Davis is leaving Portland for Brooklyn, and if social media reaction is any indication, Portland fans are feeling two things right now.
Sadness about Davis leaving. And anger at general manager Neil Olshey for letting it happen.
Davis, who spent the past three seasons with the Trail Blazers, has agreed to a one-year contract worth $4.4 million with the Brooklyn Nets. The news was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski at 9:43 p.m. Saturday, less than an hour after the official start of NBA free agency.
It came as a surprise to Blazers fans, who have embraced Davis for his work ethic, consistency and leadership. Davis told multiple media outlets during and after the season that he wanted to return to Portland after his contract expired. Team superstar Damian Lillard had publicly campaigned for Davis to remain in Portland.
Lillard and teammate CJ McCollum both expressed sorrow about Davis leaving on Saturday night.
NBC Sports Northwest Blazers reporter Jason Quick said on 620 AM on Monday morning that he texted with Lillard on Sunday night and that Lillard is in "a wait-and-see mode."
That Davis agreed to sign with the Nets so quickly was unexpected. There were four teams that pursued Davis on the first day of free agency, the Nets, Sixers, Warriors and Blazers, according to Quick.
The terms of the contract were also surprising, both for its short duration (one year) and economical salary (about $2 million less than what the Blazers paid Davis last season).
Quick said Davis texted him Saturday night and said he'd expressed his desire to return to Portland.
Blazers fans were further frustrated when news broke shortly after learning of Davis' exit that the team had signed free agent Nik Stauskas to a one-year minimum deal. Stauskas was the eighth overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, but the 6-foot-6 shooting guard is considered a bust at this stage in his NBA career. The Blazers will be his fourth NBA team, and he averaged just 4.4 points in 12.8 minutes per game last season.
Davis and Olshey were the two top trending topics in Portland on Twitter from Saturday night until Sunday afternoon, with fans lamenting Davis' exit while channeling their anger at the team's general manager.
Jared Cowley is a digital producer at KGW who writes about the Trail Blazers and other topics. You can reach him on Twitter at twitter.com/jaredcowley.