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Amid all the talk of trading Rudy Gay, I figured it’d be good t hear from someone in the Grizzlies organization . . . even if it is a little outdated. This footage was recorded at Media Day, October 1, 2012. In truth, it wasn’t that long ago. But a lot has happened since then:

  • The Grizzlies went 4-4 in preseason (uh oh . . .)
  • Justin Timberlake, The Mannings, Penny Hardaway & Harold Ford Jr. signed on as part owners.
  • The NBA approved the sale of the team to Robert Pera.
  • Pera hires Jason Levien as CEO
  • The Grizzlies stormed out of the gate at 12-2 to start the season (We’re goin’ to the FINALS!)
  • Levien hires former ESPN stats guru John Hollinger as VP of Basketball Operations & Stu Lash as Director of Player Personnel.
  • Grizzlies fall back to earth with a .500 December (Time to blow up the team!)

Anyway, regardless of what Chris Wallace’s future is in Memphis (for the record, I think he should stay), it’s still informative to find out how a GM thinks about shaking up a team, and specifically his preseason thoughts on Rudy Gay.

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10 Responses to Chris Wallace On When To Shake Up a Team

  1. Chip CrainNo Gravatar says:

    Great studs Lee!

  2. oldmanGrizzNo Gravatar says:

    There has been a front office shake-up since this interview, as noted. CW is no longer, in my opinion, calling the personnel shots, even though I’m sure he has a say. I truly believe Rudy will be traded by the deadline. The present FO has a different mindset, and the preseason hype about Rudy being rededicated and refocused, willing to do all the little things, has not materialized. He is the same player he’s always been with maybe a slightly improved commitment to defense.

  3. btNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, LES I watched this video last time you posted on Wallace, but I agree with @oldmanGrizz above – Wallace has been supplanted by a new ‘CEO’ and a new ‘VP of Basketball Operations’… both of whom are stat heads, efficiency experts… I’ve got to believe (as your blog noted) Hollinger and crew are looking at the PER of Rudy, the contract, the level of his intensity, and measuring the ‘can we win without him’ factors… And likely they are coming up with the answer many fans have said for 2 years, that Rudy is an extremely talented player, who is now paid like a superstar, but is replaceable by a myriad of other talented, athletic wings in combination with another piece or 2.

    It is about bang-for-buck, and (as much as we love Rudy) his ‘Bang-to-Buck’ ratio is not great.

    The Grizz can pick up guys with similar skill sets for cheaper, coupled with new rising talent or other roster improvements, continue their run this year, and not pay luxury tax going forward (Only reason not to trade is being *extremely confident in having a chance to play in the Finals – and right now, Vegas pins those odds @ ~ 16/1). Too much sense being made there.

    • neo-realistNo Gravatar says:

      The problem is Rudy’s contract – he is overpaid for his production. The FO wants to unload salary AND get quality players in return. No intelligent team is going to do both of these things for them. Of course we have to try (there are some stupid teams out there), but I suspect that, if the FO wants to stay competitive, they will have to keep Rudy until the summer.

    • neo-realistNo Gravatar says:

      A good example of this was the purported Rudy-Golden State deal. GS was unwilling to trade their good players unless we took on one of their bad contracts (Biedrins or Richard Jefferson).

      • btNo Gravatar says:

        I think there are trades that can make sense for multiple teams… Toronto or Charlotte could improve quickly by leveraging their existing talent. Houston did that with James Harden this summer.

        For example, a Minn-Tor-Mem scenario…

        Toronto: Rudy Gay

        Memphis: Terrance Ross, Andre Kirlenko, Derrick Williams

        Minnesota: Jose Calderon, Ed Davis, Josh Selby

        Toronto immediately improves with a Vince Carter-Tracy McGrady style combo of Rudy & DeRozan combo led by Kyle Lowry.

        Memphis gets an offensive capable 2-guard, AK-47 who is cheaper @9M/ 2years, and can play defense; also ad in Derrick Williams who is a future Mo Speights.

        Minnesota gets another scorer/ creator in Calderon who can help them in this years playoff race & their small ball contingent, he also expires next year so they save 8+M from AKirlenko. They pickup Ed Davis who is a cheaper (possibly more effective) version of D Williams. Josh Selby’s potential talent helps facilitate.

        In the end Memphis has to move Speights – either in the deal or outside (which would be easy) to stay under cap issues.

        • neo-realistNo Gravatar says:

          I actually don’t think it would be easy to move Speights (especially since he has veto power over any trade). From a Memphis perspective, that trade yields some nice pieces but won’t provide the desperate help we need with ball handling and shooting. Maybe there is a realistic multi-team deal that will help them, but I am skeptical.

  4. Steve DanzigerNo Gravatar says:

    “You might be out wandering in the desert for four, five, six years…” What a quote!

    • Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

      Agreed, Steve! And I totally get what he means. And actually, six years still may be conservative.

      The most recent example would have to be the 2011 Dallas Mavs. Obviously that was for financial reasons, and to take a swing at big name free agents who never came. Who knows when they’ll be a serious contender again.

      The most famous example of an NBA team prematurely blown up would have to be the Chicago Bulls after the second three-peat. That team could have competed for championships for at least three more years. The Bulls only really moved back into relevancy when Derrick Rose was drafted in 2008. That’s EIGHT YEARS in the desert.

      Same with Boston, before they brought in KG & Ray Allen. Until this year, the Knicks have been in the wilderness pretty much since their run to the finals in 1999. Note that: The KNICKS — big city, storied franchise, major TV market — in the woods for 12 years. Granted there was lots of bad management there, but if it takes the friggin’ KNICKS 12 years to find their way out of NBA hell . . .

      That’s why my vote is to stand pat, at least til the offseason. I think we’d get better offers then as well.

      • kasdNo Gravatar says:

        I disagree. You still have two All-Star big men, the best perimeter defender in the NBA, and a solid PG. There is no desert just because you move your starting SF! This team has shown they can play without Rudy….remember?

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