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One of my favorite all-time movies is Casablanca. I particularly like that opening scene where the pick-pocket warns the elderly couple to beware the ‘vultures’ hanging around Casablanca as he stealstheir wallet.

That’s kind of the way I feel aboutthe trade rumors circling the Grizzlies camp these days. There are vultures everywhere looking to steal Rudy Gay or O J Mayo while all the time saying they are trying to protect the Grizzlies from losing Marc Gasol due to his contract demands.

The truth is no one is looking to help out the Grizzlies by taking Gay or Mayo off the team’s hands. They are looking to enrich themselves at the team’s expense.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. If I was a General Manager of an NBA team I would be attempting the exact same thing. Find teams with too much talent at a position, in the Grizzlies case perimeter players, and take the most talented one who appears to be on the outs with the team. Two players on the Grizzlies roster fill the bill as potential targets for a GM to want.

Mayo was benched, fought with a teammate and suspended by the league this past season. Rudy was injured and not able to play during the Grizzlies playoff run. Both players fit the catagory of someone the team may want to move. I am sure many GM’s are making serious and not so serious inquiries into the players availability. Throw on top of that the Grizzlies financial situation in one of the smallest NBA markets and the need to resign Center Marc Gasol and the phones are probably lit up 24/7 with teams’ looking to help out the Grizzlies.

Make no mistake about this. Nothing the Grizzlies will likely be offered will improve the team from its present condition.

That isn’t what teams make trades to do. Oh sure they will talk about how this trade improves both teams. They will pay lip service to how the move is a big risk for their team but a clear win for the Grizzlies but that is just lip service. Teams are looking to poach the talent from the Grizzlies. Nothing more.

So don’t pay too much attention to rumors you hear over the next few days. I can tell you now that yes Chris Wallace is taking calls and making calls. It’s his job to improve the team and that is how you do it. The Grizzlies may in fact make a deal. They are overloaded with perimeter players and want to resign Shane Battier if possible further clouding the position.

That doesn’t mean the Grizzlies will be jettisoning anyone from the team. The Grizzlies are happy with their young talent and believe they simply need time together to develop into a serious NBA Championship caliber team. The future is much closer for this team than anyone expected even six months ago.A major shakeup of the lineupisn’t likely to happen during the draft Thursday night.

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