Saturday, January 20, 2007

Possible Trades for the Grizzlies

You may wonder what the Warriors-Pacers eight player trade has to do with the Grizzlies.

Not much.

But it does demonstrate that anyone, regardless of contract, can be traded. Mike Dunleavy, who'll make 8-9 million during the three seasons after this one, has consistently
averaged about 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists during his 6 year career. Modest numbers for a number 2 draft pick, who should warrant more than 30 minutes per game. The Warriors finally succeeded in getting rid of Dunleavy and managed to acquire better players in return.

(Insert Knicks joke.)

Luckily for the Grizzlies they don't have any contracts as bad as Dunleavy's. However, they do have some players who make more than their contributions suggest they should. Brian Cardinal is the obvious example. Cardinal is a solid player and by all accounts a model citizen. He could definitely contribute (maybe not at the 7 million level) for another team, but there just aren't enough minutes in Memphis.

Big Jake on the other hand probably has peaked in his NBA career. Still, he's serviceable enough to be thrown into a deal.

So who should the Grizzlies trade for?

My picks tonight are Richard Jefferson or Andrei Kirilenko.

I like these players because they're versatile, Kirilenko on both offense and defense. Both can be All Stars, and both, from an outsider's perspective, seem to be available.

The main reasons to be wary are both players have injury issues, and both players play positions where the Grizzlies are too deep. (Read: Forward)

That said, let's consider the possibilities.

According to, Kirilenko could be traded for Cardinal, Jake, and Dantay Jones. Jerry Sloan would no doubt love Jones' defense and Cardinal's hustle, and Utah would drop a huge contract that's under-performing. says Jefferson would work for the same trade, and I'm sure Jake is the big man Jason Kidd wants to play with.

Sure these trades are probably unlikely. Still, worse have been made. Charles Barkley was traded for Jeff Hornicek, Andrew Lang, Tim Perry, and someone else that I'm not going to bother to look up.

One recurring theme of this blog which this trade does not address is the lack of minutes the Grizzlies have to distribute. Both scenarios involves 3 players who don't play many minutes in exchange for 1 player who demands 35. The Grizz may be better suited to include Stromile Swift, Hakim Warrick, or Lawrence Roberts in one of these trades. They'd make the trades more appealing and cut down on the number of players who demand minutes. Roberts and Warrick can be added. Swift can be substituted for Jake.

Thanks to CNNSI,, and Realgm for all the data.


Brian said...

Interesting thoughts. I'd love to get rid of Jake, and I would assume that Jerry Sloan would love to have another white, "defensive-minded" 7+ footer that he so desperately misses (shout out to the Greg Ostertag fan club). And don't get me started on Cardinal. If any GM would be stupid enough to accept a trade with his humongous contract, well then I underestimate Jerry West's sneakiness. I mean that would be like George Bush trading Saddam Hussein's dead body and Hussein's brother's decapitated head to the Taliban for Osama Bin Laden and a future 1st round pick in the next terrorist draft. WOW, ok, maybe that was a little over the top!

By the way, quick side note...

You know what else Jake Tsakawhatever and Greg Ostertag have in common...

yes, that's right, they both look like Sloth from the Goonies; you know I bet Sloth probably had more athleticism than those two combined, anyway I digress...)

I think AK is a great player, but the rep on him is that he is a whiner. I think the role of talented cry-baby is already taken on the Grizz (thanks, Pau). Richard Jefferson is talented as well, but to me Rudy Gay is the same type of player (athletic, good defender), but Gay has a more offensive upside than Jefferson has or will ever have. And, yes you cannot ignore the injury history.

Believe it or not, I am actually not a proponent of trading for anyone right now. Let's face it, when you trade crap for crap, all you're left with in the end is...that's right, more crap!

I like the future of the Grizz. I think the talent is there, we just need the proper guidance to bring that talent out. The focus for this team right now is finding the next great NBA coach (hint to Jerry West, avoid the TNT broadcast booth), and transfer this talent into a winning basketball team. That may not come this season, but it can be done and it must be done!

David Jones said...

Thanks for the comment.

I agree that Kirilenko and Jefferson may not be the best choices. However, they are better than anyone on our team except Gasol, and they appear to be, from an outsider's perspective, to be available.

I do share your concern that Jefferson is too similar to Gay.

Still, the may be able to coexist. Kirilenko could play PF to Gasol's center. Ideally, we'd get a center instead and move Gasol to PF. Too bad there are no good centers.

The Grizzlies do need a coach, but I don't think we can expect any coach to take our current team and turn them into a solid playoff team.

There is still work that needs to be doen through trades.

Also, I liked bringing Brown in as coach. I'm sorry it didn't work out for longer than it did.

Fratello is more of a mystery. He did take the Griz to the playoffs with the 4th best record in the west. Still, he clearly wasn't working any longer.

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