Saturday, February 03, 2007

Swift and Jones for Magloire?

The Commercial Appeal is reporting that the Grizzlies may trade Swift and Jones to Portland for Jamaal Magloire's expiring contract.

It's tough to get excited about a trade that's primary benefit for the Grizzlies is long-term financial flexibility. Though Swift hasn't lived up to expectations, he's a solid veteran who can provide quality minutes off the bench. Magloire is similar, but it's hard to imagine he'd be a Grizzly after the season, if that long. Losing Swift would be similar to losing Bobby Jackson and Lorenzen Wright, veteran roles players who know how to help their team win.

Trading for Magloire gives the Grizzlies about six million more this summer than they'd have if they kept Swift. (Dantay Jones' contract expires this season like Magloire's.) This extra cash, along with the cash from Eddie Jones' and Jake Tsakaleidis' contracts could potentially help the Grizzlies lure a star player. However, as I've written before, there aren't any big name free agents worth pursuing this summer.

A few names that aren't that list (Vince Carter for example) may become available if they opt out of their contracts, but it's hard to imagine a player like Carter would opt out of his contract to come to Memphis and play with a bunch of rookies and sophomores. Trading Swift is part of a strategy that sets the Grizzlies a few years away from playoff contention.

Swift is certainly replaceable, but the only 'big' players the Grizz will have signed through 08 are Gasol, Johnson, Warrick, and Cardinal. (Hopefully they can re-sign Lawrence Roberts.) They'll have to get additional big men somehow, and talented big men are rare and aren't cheap.

This trade puts additional pressure on the Grizz to get the #1 pick, and select Greg Oden.

Another downside of this trade is that the Grizzlies lose Dantay Jones, who's shaping up to be a nice player, if not a starter. That said, Jones may be on his way out regardless. He's an unrestricted free agent, and the Grizzlies would be smart to take advantage of his value if they don't plan on/can't re-sign him. In fact, if he isn't traded with Swift, Jones could be a sweetener in the Gasol trade. After all, the Bulls will need a shooting guard to replace Ben Gordon.


Brian said...

Agreed with your ideas about trading for expiring contracts. However, I see this rumor as more of a back-up plan than anything else.

If you're Jerry West, you have to remember that even though the Grizzlies are one of the worst teams in the league right now, there is still a chance that Memphis might not get one of the first two picks. You also have to keep in mind that fan satisfaction is extremely low. He has to get the fans excited about coming to the games.

Therefore, getting some extra money to sign a big name free agent (even though there really is no one available) is not a bad idea. I am excited about the future (Gay, Warrick, Roberts, Lowry), but when you think about the big picture, how long are the fans willing to wait for the future to develop? We might want another PROVEN big name player to complement Gasol (assuming he stays) to help increase fan satisfaction.

On a side not, it's too bad Dantay Jones lacks talent. I mean he is insanely athletic and a great clubhouse guy, but unfortunately, as is the case with most Duke players, he is a better athlete and person than he is NBA basketball player.

Curt said...

jerry hates dahntay jones

Andy said...

Jerry Rakestraw?

David Jones said...

I think they're cutting payroll, not to get a free agent, but to start making revenue.

There's no established star who would sign with us until we improve through trades and the draft.

Curt said...

i have heard no grizzlies news since Feb 3 at 11:55 pm. is there even still a team called the Grizzlies?

Anonymous said...

are you kidding me? a servicable veteren and stromile swift should not even be used in the same sentence. youre right about the fact that he hasnt lived up to his potential but stro is just a waste of talent and time. i like the trade and it gives us a decent big man in magloire. you must also remember he was an allstar a few years ago. granted he could be better than he is but i think hed be good alongside pau and is a better player than stro because he actually tries somewhat. i personally think that he would be a good addition to this ball club