The Hasheem Thabeet era in Memphis is officially over.
Memphis has pulled off a trade which sends Thabeet and a future lottery protected first-round draft pick to Houston for Shane Battier, who returns to Memphis after a nearly five-year absence. The Grizzlies absolutely could use Battier's services with Rudy Gay out of at least four more weeks. Battier instantly slots in as the role of shut-down defender, viable scorer.
Battier is beloved in Memphis and will be welcomed with open arms. The issue, however, is how long will we continue to talk about the absolute mistake that was Hasheem Thabeet? It's hard to sell fans on trading the second pick of the 2009 NBA Draft for the 6th overall pick of the 2001 NBA Draft. It's the kind of deal that instantly begs Grizzlies fans to start listing the players who were selected after Thabeet who are turning into star players for their respective teams.
The deal was made for winning now. Thabeet has been a low-impact player, at best, for the Grizzlies over his career. Battier will help bridge the gap between the Rudy Gay injury and his hopeful return.
Another trade was announced, moving O.J. Mayo to the Indiana Pacers for big man Josh McRoberts and a Pacers first-round draft pick. This deal, however, fell through just before the deadline with the paperwork not having been filed in time.
It's an interesting deal. One in which, again, is the Grizzlies moving on and past a player who they seem to think doesn't have much of a future in their system. This deal also makes sense conjunction with the Battier trade. After losing Thabeet, the Grizzlies could use some help up front. McRoberts is not a beast in the paint (not that Thabeet was much more than a kitten), but he's a sufficient post player and good rebounder. His size would have helped.
Now the Grizzlies have Battier, Tony Allen, Sam Young, O.J. Mayo and eventually Rudy Gay playing the two wing positions. Reading that, the Mayo trade would have made much more sense, even though it's hard to justify moving a one-time franchise player for a low-impact rebounder and a draft pick in a weak draft class.
Let's hear it, Grizzlies fans. What do you make of these recent moves and non-moves?