Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some Rumors to Pass the Time

Ron Tillary posted some Grizz rumors at the Memphis Edge today. I thought I might dust off the keyboard and comment on them. What are fan blogs for if not commenting on trade rumors?

The rumor with the potential to have the biggest impact on the Grizzlies involved Zach Randolph. Tillery reports that the Grizzlies are considering a package that includes Darko Milicic. 

Giving up Milicic isn't a problem. By John Hollinger's* Player Efficiency Rating, Darko is the 48th 'best' center in the league. That's 2 positions above Kwame Brown, and 21 positions below Stromile Swift for those of you keeping score. While PER isn't the final authority on a player's value, directionally, it's a decent indicator of whether a player is good or bad. Anyway, I don't think there's much of an argument that Milicic is good. He'd be a perfect fit in NYC.

The real costs here are:
  1. Zach Randolph is egregiously overpaid with a max contract.
  2. His biggest weakness is also the Grizzlies' biggest weakness: defense.
  3. He loses basketball games with unmatched efficiency.
If the Grizzlies are going to continue to lose (and they are), they may as well do it without paying for Zach Randolph.

The second rumor involved Travis Outlaw. According to Tillery, Mike Conley is a dealbraker in that scenario. 

I like Outlaw, but I can't blame the Grizzlies for not wanting to give up Conley for him. Outlaw is an upgrade at power forward, but I'm not sure he's got as much upside as Conley five years into his career.

*John Hollinger is the best (perhaps only good) NBA writer at ESPN. 

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Grizzlies Don't Add Josh Smith to the Team

It's been a while since there has been an update at DavidLovestheGrizzlies. Frankly, there hasn't been much Grizzlies news to report on. But that changed briefly yesterday.

The Grizzlies failed to add Josh Smith to the team yesterday when the Hawks matched the Grizzlies' offer to the restricted free agent.

It has been suggested that this was strictly a PR move (eg Chad Ford), and the Grizzlies were confident that the Hawks would match the offer. 

It's probably true that the Grizzlies were confident the Hawks would match their offer. That said the Grizzlies have incentive to drive up Smith's value so the Hawks don't get Smith for less than he's worth. The Grizzlies need as few teams as possible with the salary cap flexibilty to compete with them for other free agents.

Also, I believe the Grizzlies wouldn't have extended the offer to Smith if they weren't happy to add him to the team. Even if they were confident the Hawks would match, they couldn't guarantee it 100%.

Finally, I don't think the Smith signing, or attempted signing, works as a PR move. It's not going to fill any seats or win any games. I don't care what their motivation is for extending an offer to Smith. I only care what the result was. They didn't add anybody to the roster or improve the team, but I hope they keep trying.