Grantland.com has their cleverly listed list of NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers posted up today, surely making or ruining certain fanbase sects' days across the league. Zach Lowe winds through the league and exposes some very interesting angles of contention that declares as many metaphorical winners as it does victorious NBA teams.
Another little quirk of the offseason is that around a week ago it was nearly impossible to give out any Free Agency grades. Ever since the LeBron standoff concluded we've had a beautiful avalanche of activity that has left the Memphis Grizzlies looking up towards the heavens while several other teams are buried under layers of snow and don't know if they're even pointed up or down.
Zach Lowe pegs Memphis as a winner under the subtitle "Teams in the Sweet Spot." That spot Lowe speaks of is a spruce little bubble that encompasses Courtney Lee and Vince Carter. GBB readers were probably already aware of this concept from the fine work of Matt Hrdlicka enlightening you last week in his Week One Update. But Lowe's recognition puts it pleasantly in the national landscape:
People raised their eyebrows when the Grizzlies took on Courtney Lee's deal, which pays him about $5.6 million per season through 2015-16, but they have to be giddy having a two-way shooter at that price after seeing deals for Gordon, Jodie Meeks, and others. Having Lee locked in freed Memphis to take a tiny risk on a three-year deal for Carter, but the price is right, and Carter is another two-way guy with the best pick-and-roll skills among all Grizz wings. Toss in a cheap deal for Beno Udrih, and you've got a tidy offseason.
I'd also like to toss in the fact that the Houston Rockets were also declared "losers" and that snagging Vince Carter removed an asset from another division rival. Not to mention the fact that owner Robert Pera purged the apparent front office cancer that was Jason Levien while the Grizzlies secured their own exclusive D-League affiliate in the Iowa Energy.
The Grizzlies aren't even likely done with seizing offseason opportunities, as explored by our own ArmChair GM, but I think it's safe to say they've been successfully selective in the moves they've made thus far.
Not too bad, especially considering that back in June I was having a conniption during what briefly appeared to be the Memphis Grizzlies franchise crumbling into the abyss. Now we're FA winners with a brilliantly eccentric owner, a happy staff and fans wearing Vince Carter jerseys.
Turns out there's many sides to running a NBA franchise. The side with the fans is usually the most dramatic.