It’s almost as if Chris Wallace is playing an elaborate prank on Grizzly fans. Unfortunately for basketball fans in Tennessee who would like an occasional reprieve from all the ridiculous Lane Kiffin-related news stories that have amused us ever since he became coach of the Volunteers, everything Wallace has done has been far too real.
The Pau Gasol trade was the first straw — trading the best player in franchise history for what in effect turned out to be his little brother was enough to set back even the most stable of franchises. But Wallace wasn’t finished. O.J. Mayo has talent, but trading Mike Miller and the rights to Kevin Love for a player who’s as much of a ball-hog as Rudy Gay isn’t exactly a recipe for success. Neither is trading Kyle Lowry for Mike Wilks, Adonal Foyle and Orlando’s first round pick.
Lately the moves have gone moved from the realm of questionable to outright sabotage. Sure, Darius Miles is a decent gamble for a team like the Celtics who just needed a piece or two, and have such a strong locker room that if once he didn’t work out the team was no worse for wear. But on a team like the Grizzlies, stocked full of decent young talent just waiting for a bad influence to lead them astray? Disaster.
Oh, big draft day trade for the Grizz! Darko Milicic for Quentin Richardson, meaning you’re trading a young malcontent for an older, more fragile one. Worse yet, Wallace then decided to reunite Miles and Zach Randolph this week (trading Q-Rich for Randolph, no less, which in a way completes the most dysfunctional circle since Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Liza Minelli and Liz Taylor used to pal around), an image that just made every Blazer fan reading this post sweat profusely and mutter at least two expletives.
Ready for the icing on the proverbial turd cupcake? Now the Grizzlies are the only team rumored to be interested in Allen Iverson. And, of course, the interest is mutual. Can’t blame AI for that one, he’s quickly become the NBA’s Barry Bonds, and we all know Bonds would have taken his DH-ing abilities to Kansas City last year if they gave him the vet’s minimum and his own Barcolounger.
If this comes to pass (and with the Grizzlies involved, you can’t help but assume Iverson will be gunning threes in Memphis come November), the Grizzlies have one of the most convoluted, chemistry-eschewing rotations since Portland’s in the early 2000’s. Only problem is at least the Blazers had some talent to go along with all their drug arrests.
Mike Conley (tough to say who was more overrated coming out of college, Conley or Ohio State teammate Greg Oden), Mayo (in the end he’ll be known for helping fantasy owners and murdering coaches), Gay (and you thought he didn’t care in college, wait until he plays with this lineup), Darrell Arthur (do you really want your young power forward with kidney issues palling around with Miles and Randolph?), Marc Gasol (decent player, but he’ll revolt once Hakeen Thabeet starts taking his minutes), Randolph (at least he only sucker-punched an opponent last year, not a teammate…it’s a start), Miles (remember when he thought he had a future as an actor?) and Marko Jaric (whose only purpose in life is to make every heterosexual male hate him).
At least the Warriors could conceivably trade for Amare Stoudemire if they wanted to. The Grizzlies are stuck with what they have, midway through a “three year plan” that looks to go at least five more years or until they’re contracted (whichever comes first).
A look around the Association
- Ready for an exciting NBA offseason? Too bad, because the biggest transactions have already happened. Thanks for raining on our parade, Matt Steinmetz. (Fanhouse)
- “I’m actually twittering and I’m tweeting the fans a lot of B.S.,” said Ron Artest. Maybe they shouldn’t allow everyone with feeling in their fingers to have a Twitter page. Of course, a lot of people have probably said that about bloggers, too. (Sports Radio Interviews)
- Now, it looks like Artest is either close to or has signed a deal for the Mid-Level Exception with the Lakers. Does this mean no more Lamar Odom or no more Trevor Ariza? I’m guessing it means no more Ariza. (Los Angeles Times)
- The Celtics want to sign Rasheed Wallace with their mid-level exception. Anyone else think the Celtics will be in the lottery within two years? (Boston Globe)
- Andre Miller probably won’t reach a deal soon with the Sixers, blah, blah, blah…the real reason I’m posting this is because I found out Andre’s agent’s name is Andy Miller. With Trevor Ariza being represented by David Lee, I’m wondering when an agent named Carl Boozer will start repping clients. (Philly Daily News)
- The Celtics have turned their back on Leon Powe after his latest ACL tear (his third since high school), and he’s ready to move to another team. Powe should be ready to play by February. I’d love for the Warriors to take a look at him, but I’m not holding my breath. (Boston Globe)
- One of my favorite basketball/Obama/hip-hop-culture (and not necessarily in that order) blogs is back, and they also felt bad for Patrick Mills on draft day. They’re pretty optimistic about the Aussie’s chances, even though the Blazers aren’t exactly a team with a lot of roster-room. (Fear The Beard)
- Meet the Warriors’ summer league team. Adam Lauridsen does a grand job summarizing the squad, even the scrubs. The starting lineup (now refreshingly Kurz-free) isn’t scrubby at all, though. Ant Randolph/Steph Curry/Anthony Morrow/Acie Law/Jermareo Davidson is as good a starting five as you’ll see in Las Vegas. (Fast Break)
- The Warriors probably won’t offer the MLE to an available free agent for the same reason they didn’t use the $10 million trade exception they received in the Jason Richardson deal: they don’t want to spend luxury tax money on their crappy team. Here’s a long list of players the Warriors won’t get. (Talking Points)
- On a holiday weekend it’s fitting that we finish off these links with a note about Steve Blake, who might be the most thoughtful NBA player this side of Adonal Foyle (and Blake’s actually productive during games!). Blake helped two young kids who were lost at Silver Falls State Park find their parents last week, without even letting the kids know who he was. I don’t know what’s more surprising, that an NBA player didn’t demand recognition for his actions, or that an NBA player was hiking in the forest. Regardless, with this good deed and others he has performed, Blake sounds like a truly good person. In other words, the Grizzlies won’t be trading for him anytime soon. (Oregonian)