Monday, October 01, 2007

Grizzlies' Training Camp Begins

It's less than a month until the Grizzlies play their first game. Though I usually can't predict how good they'll be, this year their are more unknowns than usual. The team has changed more during this offseason more than any other since the offseason before the Grizzlies' first season in Memphis.

The result is that there is a different attitude coming into camp, and that attitude is overwhelmingly positive.

As a fan, I'm extremely pleased with what the Grizzlies have done. Though they still haven't acquired a bona fide superstar, they've clearly made a commitment to winning.

Michael Heisley is beginning to make up for last year's catastrophe by taking control of the direction of the team. He's dampened the distraction that his desire to sell has caused, and he's committed to a series of moves - the best of which was hiring Marc Iavaroni - that give the impression that he's interested in building a winning team instead of a team that's priced to move.

14 comments:

John said...

Where are we having training camp this year? I heard the wolves are actually training in Turkey. Also who do see as our starting point guard at the beginning of the year and who is our starting point guard the first game after the all star break. Do you think Lowry has a shot over Conley Jr.? I think you start with lowry and let Conley get some solid minutes off the bench before switching it around. No offense to Damon.

Softball said...

i hear that the grizz are trying to trade lowry. because of this, i believe lowry will get the starting minutes towards the beginning of the season in order to showcase him to other teams in order to get max value. i am not wild about trading lowry, but why not sell high. damon has proven he can be effective when healthy and he is saying he is 100%. we all know conley is the PG of the future and damon is only here to be his guide. why not get the best deal we can get by trading lowry for some inside muscle. the question is who can we trade for?

David Jones said...

Where did you hear about trading Lowry? I haven't seen that one.

I'd be surprised, and I think it's a mistake. Based on his performance during the Summer League, I see Lowry starting initially, but I definitely think Conley has a chance of taking that over by the All Star break. Both players will demand minutes and make significant contributions throughout the year.

The training camp starts in Memphis and ends in Spain, where the Grizzlies will kick off their preseason against a Spanish team or two.

John said...

anybody going to the scrimmage today?

David Jones said...

Yes, if you go please send a review and / or pictures to david@davidlovesthegrizzlies.com. I'll then post to this site giving you credit.

Softball said...

The Lowry statement is a rumor I got from ESPN. You have to admit, it makes sense. It may not be the best idea, but I agree with the logic...

David Jones said...

If both Lowry and Conley are stars, there may not be enough room for them in Memphis. At that point, the Grizzlies should trade whoever is the worse. At this point, it's impossible to tell who will be better, so I give it at least a full season before one gets traded.

John said...

And it looks like Damon might get the nod at the start of the season. They say he is healthy and I would imgaine it is his job to lose. Of course knowing him he will be injured by Thanksgiving. Also with both lowry and conley like david said we have no real idea how good either will be. lowry showed promise, but then got hurt. Conley has never played a game. Its all a waiting game.

Softball said...

david, i usually understand your logic and agree with your points. and, john most of the points you make are pretty good, but you guys have it all wrong here...

if the Grizz are going to trade a PG (i.e. Lowry), they must make the trade sooner rather than later. it's almost moronic to wait because lowry could potentially lose value. yes, his value could increase if he plays out of his mind, but if he starts to play worse or doesn't get the playing time he needs to show other teams he's worth trading for, you lose out on the talent you could have acquired when his value was high.

and, trading the worse of the two point guards...david, if you can find a GM who will take a third string point guard from a mediocre team in the Western conference, then you my friend are a genius. (notice I didn't say bad team here, I believe baby, I believe the Grizz will be better this year!!!)

i guess what i'm trying to say is, the grizz need to avoid the risk and max out the talent they can get now. i mean they already are taking a risk on a new GM, a new coach, two new bench players who haven't proven anything, and a foreign player who has yet to play NBA basketball for a full season. too much risk can be a bad thing, and we have way too many risky investments at this point.

Softball said...

oh, and i forgot about our 21 million dollar man Darko. that's the definition of a risky investment. i believe it was a good investment because of the deal the Grizz made, but still risky...

David Jones said...

I think Lowry and Conley can both reach their potential on the same team. If they are both stars and one is under-valued on the market because he doesn't get enough playing time, that is ok. I think he'll still be valued more than he is now. I don't think Conley or Lowry carry enough trade value to return anyone better than the Grizzlies have at other positions.

Still, declining value is a valid concern.

Justin said...

I have to agree with David here. Softball: How high do you think Lowry's trade value is right now? What team would want/need him and who would they give up? He was the 4th PG taken in what was considered a weak draft class. He has played 10 professional games.

Consider the following:
1. Trade Lowry for what his 'value' is now, I would assume it to be another low draft pick rookie or career journeyman. Lowry turns out to be pretty good. We lose.

2. Hold onto Lowry, he turns out to be pretty good, we trade for equal value, hopefully in a need spot. We gain value (from what we originally had).

3. But if Lowry is bad and we hold onto him, we haven't lost much more than we've started with.

4. Trade him and hes bad, its a push (or we gain some, depending on who we get back).
In sum, if we keep now, trade later, we either get win or lose a little. If we trade now, we either lose a lot or break even. (this assumes we don't get a diamond in the rough in scenarios no. 1 and 4 or make some clearly lopsided trades, but given Wallace's track record, i feel its a safe one)
If we wanted to maximize current value, we would look to trade Gasol for picks and/or young promising players.
Last, while we have taken a lot of risk, I feel its a better position than keeping the pieces of what we know, definitively, is a losing venture.

Softball said...

justin, those are all very valid points. to me, it sounds like the market value is pretty high for a guy like lowry now. he's a scrappy, hard-playing, smart, athletic PG. it's true his value could go higher the longer we wait, but i guess i think it's more likely to go down considering his situation. and, i think the fact that he has only played 10 professional games helps his value because it's almost like he's a rookie (the sky could be the limit).

it's not that i don't agree that we could hold onto him and possibly get max value later on. it's that i think that won't happen with the nucleus of players we have. damon will probably start and conley will probably come off the bench more than lowry because if I'm heisley and wallace, i'm urging iavaroni to play conley not only for experience but also because they know that that's who the fans want to see play.

and look at it from lowry's perspective. look at some of the backup PGs in this league. i now lowry could be better than many of them. he could easily play more minutes on a different team. if we can get equal value for him now, why not make the move.

in fact, i think wallace should be able to get greater value considering we all know that PGs and big men, especially really good reliable ones, are very hard to come buy in this league. it's true that lowry has not proven this yet over the course of an NBA season, but lowry's value is high from the summer league. i guess the best possible scenario would be sending lowry and stro for a good tough inside guy to play next to pau and darko. that to me makes the trade worthwile.

if we can find a team that has a surplus of big men who need a legitimate backup or even starting PG, then i say we do it NOW!

Justin said...

Your points are well taken (and made). I guess its difficult to gage what a guy like lowry's trade value is without knowing exactly who needs what. However, I completely agree we need to get another big. I heard a radio host give his account of the recent scrimmage. He described Stro-show's athletic ability as this: "kevin willis-like - its like he aged 10 years over the summer." I really hope that your prediction of stoudemire starting does not come true. He only has two years left, i wonder how much a buyout would be?