The Grizzlies didn't get Michael Beasley, but the draft was still a success.
Key Takeaway: OJ Mayo + Darrell Arthur have a better chance of being more valuable than Mike Miller + Kevin Love.
They traded for the player with the third highest chance of being a star in OJ Mayo without giving up Michael Conley, who has the second highest potential of the returning Grizzlies, or Rudy Gay, who is on his way to being a star.
Additionally, they were able to maximize the value of their 28th pick by acquiring Darrell Arthur, a player that slipped due to misinformation about a kidney ailment.
The only value they lost was Kevin Love, who has an excellent chance to be good but not a great chance of being a star, and Mike Miller, who will probably be a zero-time All Star. Miller was a valuable trade asset because he was well regarded by other teams, but his defense was suspect, and has shot 68 for 170 from the field in 20 career playoff games. Plus, he didn't even drink the beer I bought for him pictured below moments before being discarded.
The Grizzlies jumped on the opportunity to use Miller to get Mayo, and I think it's a great use of Miller's value.
Less significant, but also good for the Grizzlies were the asterisks involved in the deal. Marko Jaric can contribute on the court or serve as a trade asset whereas Cardinal is worthless until his contract year, when he becomes an expiring contract. Jaric has some potential to contribute on the court while Cardinal and Collins struggle to contribute even on a team as terrible as the Grizzlies.
Antoine Walker is less likely to make significant contributions, though I still think there is an outside chance he can play better than he has the last two seasons.
I am fond of Walker, who I followed when attending school in Boston during his best years as a Celtic. My opinion of him then was that his quickness and ability to finish in the lane allowed him to dominate in the post with his back to the basket.
His biggest problem is he is a medicre-to-average outside shooter who thinks he's Reggie Miller. If he had the discipline to play to his strengths, I think he could have added a couple of All Star appearances to his resume. That said, his role for the Grizzlies will be a post injury Damon Stoudemire role. In fact, he may be bought out like Stoudemire.
Greg Buckner fills a gaping hole in the roster left by Aaron McKie.
We don't know who got the better end of the Grizzlies' moves, but, unlike the Gasol trade, based on the current state of the Grizzlies, they made great moves. Only time will tell if the moves improved the team.
I'm happy with Heisley, Wallace, et al's work. They are still responsible at the end of the day for building a winning team, and from my perspective, they made a move that has a great chance of puting them in position to improve the team. They will still be responsible if Mayo doesn't pan out and the Grizzlies are still terrible, but I won't blame them.
(On the flip side, if they draft the next Michael Jordan with the Lakers' 2010 pick, the Gasol deal is still the wrong move at the time even though they become a success because of it.)