Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Adding a Superstar: Part Five: Kobe Bryant

A report from Fan Nation claims Bryant says he'd only agree to a trade to one team. We can guess those teams aren't the Heat or the Spurs, so that gives us a 1 in 27 chance of being a potential destination for the best player in the league. Not quite as good as our chances of getting the #1 or #2 in last week's draft lottery, but slightly better than our chances arranging a trade with Portland or Seattle between now and late June.

While many dislike Bryant's character, his talent is undisputed. Like Michael Jordan, Bryant is arrogant and an asshole. Also, like Jordan, he's unstoppable, and makes those around him (read:Smush Parker) better. It turns out being an asshole helps out when motivating a group of 20-something professional athletes. Unlike Jordan, Bryant hasn't maintained a favorable image in most news media, but that's a story for another blog.

Like the other superstars examined, Bryant would have an immediate effect on the Grizzlies. He'd compliment Pau Gasol's post game. He can create plays for himself and others. He's proven he can play without a dominant play-making point guard (even when he was winning championships). He'd also shore up the Grizzlies porous perimeter defense and open the paint on offense with penetration and outside shooting, allowing the Grizzlies' weak rebounders to move up from the bottom of the league.

Bryant would have a bigger impact than any other player. Besides being a top player at both ends of the floor, Bryant would bring much needed leadership. Perhaps Bryant could motivate the Grizzlies bigs to improve defense in the paint. With Bryant, the Grizzlies would likely advance to the second round of the playoffs, however, the Grizzlies have enough talent to compete with the top teams if Bryant's leadership motivated the Grizzlies to improve as a team in the right areas.

What do you think? Are their other players on this list or other players not mentioned who'd have a bigger impact on the Grizzlies? Add a comment with your thoughts.


Brian said...

I understand that the whole trading for a superstar thing is for fun and not realistic...but, I'd be interested to hear your steps in reconstructing the Grizz to turn them back into a playoff team.

I have some ideas...

First, it starts with hiring the right coach. If what you are reporting is true, Iavaroni is a good 1st step!

Second, drafting Mike Conley in this year's draft (see previous comment). This is now more important because of the style Iavaroni brings. The Suns have shown that the offense in Phoenix revolves around a great PG and an athletic supporting cast (which brings me to my next point...)

Third, trade Gasol and get a center. With Iavaroni coming from the run and gun Phoenix offense, I think Gasol is a poor fit for that. Therefore, put him on the block and see what comes our way. I know that one of my favorite players who has not really played to his potential recently because of the system he is in is Jermaine O'Neal. He has talked about the possibility of a trade for some time now. In fact, I plugged this into the trade machine on ESPN and it worked out rather nicely for the Grizz...

Memphis gets: Jermaine O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning, and Jamal Tinsley

Washington gets: Damon Stoudamire and Stromile Swift

Miami gets: Antonio Daniels and Brendan Haywood

Indiana gets: Jason Williams and Pau Gasol

I know there is some iffiness to the trade machine, but if you look at the stats, this is a pretty good trade all around...

Washington and Miami don't get much, but they are kind of the back-ups in the blockbuster between the Pacers and Grizz. They are unloading some expensive players and receiving less expensive players. Miami may be the biggest loser in all this, but hey, they owe Memphis...I mean it wasn't just Dwayne Wade and Shaq who won that title. Former Grizz James Posey and Jason Williams were solid and back-up center and former Tiger Earl Barron is no slouch either. Indiana gets a solid player in Gasol and a streaky but good player in Williams. Memphis gets more athletic with O'Neal and a troubled Tinsley as a backup PG (which makes Chucky expendable, thank goodness!) and Zo who is not the long term solution to the center vacancy, but could work for a year if he stays healthy.

Your thoughts...

David Jones said...

I don't know about Jermaine O'Neal.

I've heard he's over-rated - but I'm open to the possiblity that this could be a good deal. I wouldn't be up in arms if we got O'Neal.

I doubt Gasol and JWill will ever be able to co0exist again.

We definitely need to do more than this to improve the team than this. Swapping Gasol for O'Neal and adding a rookie and Tinsley doesn't get us out of the 5 worst teams.

We need to make a move on a star who plays wing, which will probably mean moving Warrick and Miller.

Don't worry - there's little chance we'll bring Chucky back, though I still think he did a good job this year even if he's not the answer for us.