Mavs From the Past: Terry Davis

Terry Davis went undrafted in the 1989 NBA Draft. He signed as a free agent with the Miami Heat. Davis played in a majority of the Heat games during his rookie and sophomore season even getting to start in a couple of them. The Heat released him during the 1991 offseason. During his two years with the Heat, he averaged 5.1 points per game (PPG), 4.2 rebounds per game (RPG), and 0.5 assists per game (APG). His time on the Heat was used to help him develop and get used to the NBA style of play.

Dallas Mavericks on the Line

Davis signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Dallas Mavericks a month later. In his first year with the Mavericks, his stats took a big jump. He averaged 10.2 PPG, 9.9 RPG, and 0.8 APG. He was able to double his points per game and rebounds per game from his time with the Heat. Davis played in 68 games with the Mavericks that season starting in all but one of them.

He followed it up with his best season during his career. In Davis’ second season with the Mavericks, he averaged 12.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 0.9 APG. He played in 75 games and started in 74 of them, the most games played and started in a season during his NBA career. Davis played 32.8 minutes per game (MPG) during that same season, the most minutes per game he would play in a season.

Facing Adversity

On May 2, 1993, he got in a car accident that left him with a shattered left elbow and his passenger dead.

In the following season, Davis began to get plagued with injuries that affected his overall game. He averaged 3.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 0.4 APG while playing in 15 games and starting in five. He missed the beginning and end of the season due to injuries.

Davis’ stats would diminish even more due to injuries. During the 1994-1995 season, he averaged 3.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 0.4 APG. He played in 46 games and started in two, missing time throughout the season due to injuries.

The 1995-1996 season would be his final one as part of the Mavericks. In his final season in Dallas, Davis averaged 4.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 0.8 APG. He played in 28 games, all off the bench. Due to being plagued with more injuries, he missed the last two months of the season. In the 1996 offseason, the Mavericks waived Davis.

Davis spent the whole next season out of the league. He signed with the Washington Wizards in the following season and had a significantly healthy year, playing in 74 games and starting in 66 of them. Just when things looked like they might have changed for the better, Davis played in only 37 games the following year while starting in 34 of them, due to injuries. During the 1999 offseason, he was traded to the Orlando Magic where he was waived by the team in the same offseason. He didn’t play at all during the 1999-2000 season, but was signed by the Denver Nuggets during the 2000 offseason and played for them in 19 games while starting in one. Davis’ season with the Nuggets was his final season in the NBA. 


In 2009, Davis was entered into his alma mater’s Hall of Fame, Virginia Union University. In 2017, he was enshrined in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Hall of Fame.

He has a son, Ed Davis, who got drafted into the NBA in 2010 and currently plays on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Terry Davis had a good start to his NBA career but constant injuries derailed his career. He was honored for the success he had in his college years. It is unknown what Davis’ full potential could’ve been if it weren’t for being plagued with injuries.

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