And For My Next Trick, I Will Beg The Memphis Grizzlies Not To Completely Destroy What Little Is Left Of Their Franchise

Sweet Jesus, thank you Lord, the Finals are over and we can get back to what we really love about the league. Meaningless transactions which will undoubtedly not result in a championship but make us froth at the mouth with potential. Ye-haw.

Let’s talk Rubio.

In a series of debates over at FH, Ziller and I are discussing the picks and the relevant info. Our first two centered on Rubio and Thabeet who are, of course, the top candidates for the Grizzlies. I’ve been wanting to expound on this further, since Rubio and Thabeet are perfect examples of the components involved in what I’ve come to refer to as:

The Grizzly Conundrum

Fortune smiled on that little downtrodden franchise I favor, and finally granted them a top 2 pick. During the lottery I had my eyes closed, fingers crossed, and was humming “pleasssssssssssssssssssse” when the Grizzlies spot came up. I did the same thing for picks 3 and 2. I was happy they had landed the 2 spot, until it started to dawn on me how wretched that spot is this year.

Or course. It’s the Grizzlies. How else could it be?

The two options for the Grizzlies are eseentially giving a fish a bycicle, or giving a parapelegic running shoes.

Rubio is the bicycle. The bycicle is shiny. It’s red. It has great speed and handle. It’s the envy of all the kids in the neighborhood. Too bad the fish doesn’t care because it’s a f*cking fish. The Grizzlies have their cornerstones, Gay and Mayo. They have a solid center in Marc Gasol (with a high ceiling). They have multiple picks. And they have a fanbase that has all but abandoned them. So what’s the answer? Here’s a hint. NOT THE THIN-BONED SPANISH KID THAT LOOKS LIKE A JONAS BROTHER.

Rubio has the potential to be a game-changer (so to speak) for certain teams. New York. Minnesota. Even the Clippers though Dunleavy will give up Griffin over his cold, dead body. Or if you offer a bloated contract with little to no value, apparently, since that’s been all their other moves. Rubio could be a true facillitator for the Wizards, a franchise player for the Kings, the next evolution for the Warriors, or the Nash Toronto wants but can’t have. But to Memphis? He’s a pain the ass that may decide to play chicken with them; a player that won’t sell as many tickets as other players can (we’ve seen the way Memphis gets attached to awkward looking Spanish dudes), doesn’t provide them an inside scorer, makes their investment in Mike Conley seem completely vapid, and generally is a terrible fit.

If you asked me how far on the plank I would be if the Grizzlies threatened to take Rubio, I’d say that the wood would be bending under my weight. If you asked me how far out I would be if the Grizzlies talked about Thabeet, I’d say you might as well give me a chum bath so the sharks get something seasoned for dinner.

There are teams that can afford to roll the dice on Thabeet. Oklahoma City already has a loaded roster, enough scoring options, and needs a capable inside defender. The Raptors could use a legit 5. The Iowa Energy need someone with his talents. The Harlem Globetrotters could use his Tweet advice. But the Grizzlies? A stilt with a Twitter account? It’s one thing to want a defensive minded team, it’s another to give a starting roster spot and #2 money to a guy who has little to no way of putting the ball in the basket.

What compounds this nightmare scenario is how awesome drafting Tyreke Evans would be for them. Even with Conley on board, Evans represents an evolutionary step for the Grizzlies akin to the development of lungs. Versus Rubio, Evans has great size, can attack the basket with an almost religious ferver, will sell tickets being a Memphis U kid, if even for a year, and creates a sort of dark Horsemen aspect for the Grizzlies 1-2-3 combo. Rubio would be like trying to create a cheap knock off family theme park in Memphis.

So now we hear Wallace is keen on Evans, but that he’s willing to take Rubio if he feels he’s the best player. Heisley and Wallace refuse to be intimidated, be it by Portland or some kid out of Spain. This is the precipice of their three year plan. A faulty step here, and it’s curtains for Memphis for the forseeable future.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.