Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Case for Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph is a knucklehead, and certainly not my first choice for the Grizzlies' starting power forward.

However, there's a strong case for acquiring him IF the Grizzlies don't have to give up any basketball assets to do so.

(A basketball asset is a future first round draft pick or anyone Hakim Warrick or better. Anyone from Darrell Arthur though Marko Jarik is not considered a basketball asset.)

1. Zach Randolph has scored 20 points and averaged 10 rebounds in 6 of the past 6 seasons.

That's a serious upgrade over the Grizzlies current options at power forward. The Grizzlies would have 3 30-point options on the team.

2. Most other available power forwards haven't demonstrated the same level of individual success or haven't done so for more than a season. Going with Paul Milsap or David Lee may not carry the same character risks as going with Randolph, but the risk that those players aren't able to replicate their recent basketball sucess is higher.

Players like Lee and Milsap haven't demonstrated individual success consistently for more than a season or in a variety of different team scenarios. Other candidates (like Jason Thompson?!?!) haven't demonstrated near Randolph-like success for one season.

3. The best power forwards aren't exactly knocking down the door to get into Memphis.

If you check out Chris Herrington's excellent list of available power forwards, you might notice that there are several options that are significantly better than Zach Randolph. The chance that the Grizzlies will be able to land any of them is small. They've been trying, without success, for over a year. (Attempts at Beasley, Amare, and Randolph have all been reported.)

The Grizzlies can't afford to wait around if the opportunity to acquire Randolph without giving up a basketball asset arrives. The Grizzlies won't be able to compete in the free agent market when other teams have cap room to pursue players like Chris Bosh and Amare.

4. Trades for players with Randolph's ability or better will require the Grizzlies to give up basketball assets. Therefore, the net gain may not be as great even if the Grizzlies were able to land a player significantly better than Randolph.

Would you rather have a 100 inch TV for 5 grand or a 60 inch TV for 50 bucks?

(Still, there are players I'd rather have than Randolph.)

5. My biggest concern is that Randolph has not demonstrated success in the playoffs. However, looking through Herrington's list, most of the other players either haven't demonstrated much individual success, haven't demonstrated much team success, or, by my calculation, are a long shot to acquire.

Therefore, you won't hear me complain if the Grizzlies pull the trigger on a Randolph deal without giving up a basketball asset. He's not a perfect fit. There are significant risks involved, and it may not work out.

But this is exactly the type of risk-taking the Grizzlies have to go for to improve the team.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Proposed Trades

Wow. Did you see this yet?

Also, Chris Vernon reports that the Clippers turned down a trade of Marko Jaric and Greg Buckner for Zach Randolph.

Though Randolph is a cancer and a knucklehead this is exactly the type of deal the Grizzlies need to make. They give up nothing except money to improve the team on the floor.

The only deals I don't understand are #2 and Gay for Amare, and #2 for Beasley. How do you turn those deals down? Don't those deals make the team significantly better?

I also question turning down the #5, Etan Thomas, and Mike James for the Grizzlies later picks.

I can only assume these rumors don't tell the whole story. I mean, HOW DO YOU TURN DOWN #2 AND GAY FOR AMARE?!?!?!

To All My Readers

I just wanted to let you know that I haven't yet purchased my Hasheem Thabeet jersey. I'll keep you updated. Thanks.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


When was the last time someone like Thabeet became a star?

How come the Warriors can package scrubs for Amare and we can't put it together?

Richard Jefferson, Shaq, and Vince Carter are being traded for expiring contracts, and all the Grizzlies can get is Quentin Richardson?

What does Marc Gasol think about the pick?

Who is going to play power forward?

These are the questions I have after the draft.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Why is it that the Grizzlies have the 2nd best pick in the draft, but it seems like they're in the worst position of any team?

Why does it seem like other teams are making moves while the Grizzlies are falling behind?

Why can't the Grizzlies turn Milicic's expiring contract into something better than Quentin Richardson?

These are questions that hopefully will be answered on Thursday night. Hopefully, the answer will be that the Grizzlies have been biding their time until the Clippers to buckle under the pressure of the Grizzlies' offer for Blake Griffin.

As an aside, Chris Herrington has it right on the proposed deals with Minnesota. Except the part where he's willing to take Love and #18 for #2.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The #2 Pick

Ah, the #2 pick. The Grizzlies have an enchanting history with the #2 pick that involves Steve Francise, Stromile Swift, and Darko Milicic.

So how will our cuddly Grizzly bears use the enchanting pick this year?

Here are the David-Loves-The-Grizzlies-approved outcomes in order of preference:

If a team that is not the Grizzlies or the Clippers acquires Blake Griffin, I can't even describe how infuriated I will be.

Not only will it mean that the Grizzlies simply didn't put enough on the table, but it will also mean that the Grizzlies do not read my blog.

2. Draft Ricky Rubio and keep him.

If Rubio can't coexist with OJ Mayo, then Rubio is a bust, and no one will blame the Grizzlies. I'm sure someone will pay a premium to double-check whether Rubio is a bust later in the season or next summer. He'll still be tradeable.

But we have to try it, don't we? We owe it to everyone who has ever cared about basketball.

3. Draft Rubio and trade him.

You cannot draft anyone else at #2 and keep him. The embarassment will be too much when Rubio is dominating and Thabeet can't get a second contract.

If you really can't keep Rubio, then you have to trade him for a significant young player like Kevin Love or a couple of assets that could pan out, like Minnesota's #5 and #6 picks.

Today's trades have proven that there are one-sided deals to be had. If #1 and #2 don't work, then the Grizzlies better go find one of those lopsided deals.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Upping the Ante

Word on the street is that the Clippers aren't interested in trading the number 1 pick.

I say that's the time to up the ante.

If the previous proposal was Gay, #2, and future pick for Griffin and a bad contract, throw in a second a bad contract and given them Darko's expiring deal.

Seriously, if you had the chance to trade for a top 10 player, wouldn't you do it?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Draft Week 2009

I've spent a lot of time over the past few weeks reading all the Grizzlies news I can find, and at this point, I wouldn't bet on any of the scenarios.

However, I do have a few concerns about the upcoming draft.

  1. Grizzlies won't get the player with the biggest chance of being a star.
  2. The Grizzlies are too enamored with their own players to improve the team.
  3. The Grizzlies won't do everything in their power to acquire Griffin.
The Grizzlies absolutely must do everything in their power to acquire Blake Griffin.

Now is not the time to fall in love with players that won fewer than 25 games for the 3rd straight year. (By the way, this also applies to when evaluating players other than Griffin.

I have already stated that I think acquiring Griffin is the best outcome of the draft, and from what I've read, it seems like most people agree. What's not agreed upon is whether Clippers would be willing to accept any offer and how aggressive the Grizzlies should be.

Let me be clear: I think the Grizzlies should put up an offer of at least 4 significant assets for the Clippers. Griffin is the closest thing to a sure bet, and one great player is leagues better than a collection of good players.

In the best case scenario, I would like the Grizzlies to trade Rudy Gay, the #2 pick, and a future first rounder for Griffen and whatever contract the Clippers want to shed.

However, I would be willing to consider any combination of all players on the roster with the possible exception of OJ Mayo. Last time I checked, I didn't see any of the Grizzlies dominating the league. We need to get a star player and will in the gaps later.

There's no question in my mind that the above deal is a good deal for the Grizzlies. The only question in my mind is "Is this is enough to suade the Clipper?"

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dear Bill Simmons

Please quit talking shit about the Memphis Grizzlies.

In almost every article you write, you mention that Memphis is terrible. Either Memphis has no fans or Memphis is "NBA Hell."

Here's why you should stop talking shit:

1. We already know the Grizzlies suck.

Memphis has the worst playoff record of any team ever (0-12). They have the worst record of any team over the past three seasons (68-178, 28%). By almost any measure of basketball success, the Grizzlies are terrible.

2. The Grizzlies are less of a clusterfuck than you think.

They're one of a few teams that didn't lose money this season.

They have the lowest payroll of any NBA team.

They have some good young players (Mayo, M. Gasol), the #2 pick, and few bad contracts on the books (Milicic, Jaric), none of which are Zach Randolph bad (despite Wallace's best efforts).

3. Gasol isn't as good as you think.

Gasol is a very good player. He's one of the best big men scorers, but he's not the second best center in the league. For one thing, he's not really a center, or if he is, then so is Amare.

Kobe is often judged by his team's accomplishments when he was the best player on the team. Consider Gasol's accomplishments when he was the best player on the an NBA team.

His team made the playoffs in three of the six full seasons in which he played in the NBA. He never won a playoff game as the best player on his team despite a supporting cast that featured players that have had success in the playoffs independent of Gasol (Battier, Wells, White Chocolate, James Posey)

That's why no one would trade for him at face value.

To look at it another way, how does Pau Gasol compare with second best players on other recent Championship teams?

He's definitely worse than Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnett (or Paul Pierce).

He's in the ball park of Tony Parker

He's better than Otis Thorpe and whoever you want to pick from the 2004 Pistons.

4. The Gasol trade wasn't as bad as you think.

Yes, it was a bad trade. The Grizzlies traded an All Star Power Forward for a starting Center.

However, if you take into account the cost of each player it doesn't look so bad.

Pau Gasol's PER last season was 22.31 while Marc Gasol's was 16.74. If you divide those by salary, you get Gasol for 22.31 / 15 million = 1.5 PER points per million dollars spent.

For Marc Gasol, it's 16.74 / 3 million = 5.6 PER points per million dollars.

Sometimes you have to pay to get the best players, but Gasol wasn't taking the Grizzlies anywhere.

I can't believe you just made me try to justify the Pau Gasol trade. See what you're doing?

That brings me to my last point:

5. We already know the Grizzlies suck.

You don't need to kick us while we're down. That's what the Clippers and the Knicks are for. We already have someone from Boston to remind us of how bad we are. We don't need you too.

Best Regards,

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

An Offer They Can't Refuse

The Grizzlies must make the Clippers an offer they can't refuse.

They must trade the #2 pick, Rudy Gay, and next year's first round pick for Blake Griffin and whatever contract the Clippers want to get rid of the most.

It's the only way.

There are three things I know:

1. The Grizzlies cannot go into next season without a power forward.

2. David Lee does not count.

3. The Grizzlies cannot go into next season with six point guards.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

2 Bad Options for #2

Here are two options I don't like:

1. Drafting Hasheem Thabeet. There's exactly one player that's built like Thabeet that's a star in this league, and Thabeet is not projecting to be the next Yao Ming. These days, centers (with a few notable exceptions including Dwight Howard) are role playing stiffs a la Eric Dampier.

The Grizzlies already have a center that's better than Thabeet. They don't need to draft a back up center with the #2 pick despite what Chad Ford thinks.

That brings me to another point. The Grizzlies shouldn't draft a guard unless that guard has the potential to be a star when paired with OJ Mayo.

If the Grizzlies find a guard (and I think Rubio qualifies) that has a strong chance of being a star paired with OJ Mayo, then the Grizzlies should draft him and trade Conley.

2. What I don't want to see happen is the Grizzlies draft a combo guard to share minutes with Conley and Mayo. The Grizzlies need to come away with someone who can play 35 minutes, whether by drafting Rubio or trading for a power forward. (No, Jason Thompson is not the power forward I have in mind.)