FACE REALITY PEOPLE! Ronnie Brewer can’t get the Grizzlies past those teams as a bench player and he is the best option I have heard so far. CDR? Nice player and a home town connection which could put butts in the arena but is he going to be the player who gets us past Denver or Dallas? I don’t think so.
The reality is that missing the playoffs might actually work out best in the long run for the Grizzlies anyway. Sure the fans want to see the Grizzlies win a playoff game but they aren’t going to advance this season. Wouldn’t it make more sense to acquire another lottery pick and then next season be in a stronger position to get past the first round of the playoffs?
There are plenty of top quality players available in the draft. Memphis picking in the top 14 would be guaranteed a player who can step in right away and help score or defend off the bench. Carroll, Young and Thabeet will be a year older and Arthur will as well and he should be healthy too. The team will be a top contender next season – all season – without making a go for broke deal that sacrifices the future well-being of the team.
With all due respect to Chip Crain and the boys in three shades, Memphis’ target is pretty specific based on the first half of the season. Not the lottery. Not the second round. First-round exit. Period.
It’s a terrific pinpoint of how different expectations can be and what those expectations mean for different clubs. For example, the New Orleans Hornets are precisely where Chip’s talking about. They’re not making it past the first round. Under no circumstances are the collective Army-of-Darkness-esque bones of the Hornets’ wings going to be enough to get out of the first round. Peja, Posey, Mosepher? Even if Thornton spontaneously bursts into flame and becomes J.R. Smith with a conscience and rebounding ability, that team isn’t going anywhere. Getting blasted out of the first round similar to last year does them no good, and would actually be harmful. This team has the appearance of a contending team, but in reality it’s not.
The Grizzlies? A first round exit is FINE. AWESOME. Because it gets Memphis excited about the team being in the playoffs. Getting wiped out in four? Who cares? They weren’t even supposed to make it! Zach Randolph was their big acquisition, for God’s sake! But if this team has a season where they make it to the halfway mark in the 8th spot, beat the Suns on national television, get people to start to buy in, and then fade away into suckitude again? That’s crushing. You ruin all the good will you built up with the hot start.
Is Ronnie Brewer going to get them over the hump and able to beat LA? Of course not! Nothing barring a miracle would grant that. But Brewer provides an upgrade that could get them into the playoffs and set them up for next year. The biggest reason a trade needs to happen now? Conley.
I wake up every day and ask myself this question:
“What starting point guard in the National Basketball Association would I not trade Mike Conley for?”
I’ve yet to come across an answer. Rafer Alston? By all means. Lou Williams? Heavens, yes. Jonny Flynn? Absolutely. Chris Duhon? … I’d have to think about it, but for not for very long. It’s a glaring hole at a position a running team desperately needs. Wasting time waiting on the “best deal” to come along is just going to wind up putting the pressure back on the Grizzlies. Why? They have nothing of value except Rudy Gay. Teams aren’t going to come calling, even for cap relief, and if they do, I doubt the Grizzlies will take it on.
Making the playoffs represents an opportunity for the franchise to move past the perception that they ruined themselves in the Gasol trade. It gives a little life to Memphis and gets the young’ns some experience, plus nets Heisley a little extra cash. Making a move now shows a commitment to winning, and that in and of itself is worth the investment. If you’ve got a chance to improve your team in this league, you need to take it, not settle and then yell “Just wait till next year!”
Just because you’re both bears doesn’t mean you’re the Cubs.