TORONTO - Raptors power forward Ed Davis and the Raptors’ 2011 first-round pick, Jonas Valanciunas, have similar tasks ahead of them.
Both are promising NBA players, Davis a little further along that path based on the season under his belt, but both require a bit of a body overhaul.
Valanciunas will spend the next year with his Lithuanian professional team adding some mass to the 240 pounds that is stretched over his 7-foot frame.
Ask the Lithuanian what he needs to work on and it becomes quite clear that beefing up is high on his list followed closely by his low post game and his shot.
Davis has already begun his own transformation, dropping unnecessary body fat and adding on about five or six pounds of good NBA muscle since the season ended.
Following a few days in Toronto where he worked out with a handful of teammates, Davis has a trip to Los Angeles planned where he will continue the off-season plan to bulk up with the aid of trainers and a dietician.
Perhaps as much as coming back a little bigger, Davis has another goal.
“I just want to be 100% healthy when the season starts,” he said referring back to a pre-season injury in his rookie year that cost him the first two months of the season.
Davis was asked what advice he would give this year’s draft class as they prepare for their first season in the NBA.
After thinking about the question for a moment, Davis suggested each and every one of them be ready for a trial by fire.
Davis said first your own teammates go at you in practice to test you and then the rest of the league takes its turn once the games start.
Apparently they’re not very subtle about it either.
“I felt I had my games where a few teams would run three or four plays at me in a row, you know,” Davis said.
Davis passed his test. Valanciunas will have to wait a little longer before his feet are put to the fire.