Forward Quincy Pondexter was included in the trade for Jeff Green that became official on Monday. It has been painfully clear since last Friday that he was on his way out of Memphis in the three team deal.
Pondexter was drafted to the Oklahoma City Thunder at the 26th pick then promptly traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2010. On December 14, 2011 he was traded to the Memphis Grizzles from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for point guard Greivis Vasquez. The move was thought to be a steal at the time due to the Grizzlies lack of wing depth.
His first three seasons he suffered two significant injuries that forced him to miss extended periods of time. This didn't stop him from putting on one of the best playoff performances i have ever seen from a Grizzly against the Spurs in 2013. Threes rained from the skies. He was guarding everyone-and he dunked on Boris Diaw's face. It was a performance to be remembered. Unfortunately, it was the worst thing to ever happen to Quincy Pondexter.
Shortly after his playoff performance, Pondexter was signed to a four year $14 million dollar extension. Along with the $14 million dollars came a heap of extra expectations that Pondexter wasn't ready for. He was now expected to contribute consistently; something he struggled with. Coaches wanted him to be the "3 and D" guy, while Pondexter seemed to want to be more of a scorer. What ensued was an identity crisis that brought Pondexter's time in Memphis to an end.
The role the Grizzlies wanted Pondexter to play and the role he wanted to play were two different things. It became evident that the guy who can only shoot from the corner and struggled to put the ball on the floor wanted to have a bigger role than just shooting threes and playing defense. He's just not that guy. So, it lead to being benched several times and Pondexter exploding.
Sometimes it's best to move on. That's what the Grizzlies and Quincy Pondexter are both doing now. The Grizzlies needed a player that could do the things that Pondexter was unable or unwilling to do. Instead of waiting around hoping for Pondexter to work out his identity crisis, the Grizzlies have upgraded at the wing. Pondexter now has the chance to be the impact player he wants to be because the Pelicans are painfully weak at the wing. Maybe just maybe he will get the bigger role he so desperately ached for in Memphis so he can become the player he thinks he is.
It seems that I'm being really negative about Pondexter, but I actually really enjoyed him in his time in Memphis. He was involved with the community and seemed to have a great personality that meshed with the "Grit and Grind" Grizzlies very well. New Orleans is getting a competitor and a player that could help take that young team to new heights.
QPon and his dog Buckets will be missed.