On Friday night, as I was covering the Memphis Grizzlies - Miami Heat game, I was on my computer and live-tweeting — game protocol. All of the sudden, 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter, I see a Woj Bomb.
I’m ecstatic! The Grizzlies were about to get a legitimate wing scorer that’s also young. He can be re-signed this summer. We have another piece that can thrive next to Marc Gasol and Mike Conley in the present, and next to Jaren Jackson Jr. in the future. I need to see which role players are gone, and we’re in BUSINESS.
At first, I see “Dillon Brooks and Wayne Selden,” and I’m pretty down. I love Dillon Brooks, and he isn’t much of a downgrade from Oubre. Then, I see “MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden.” When I saw that, and believed it, I couldn’t have been more proud of Chris Wallace. My hypothetical firstborn son was going to be named Chris Wallace Fleming.
Then, “the deal is dead.”
The deal died, because there was miscommunication on which Brooks was being sent in the deal.
I was livid. A lot of my private text messages contained expletives. I listened to “Marvin’s Room” on repeat on the way home. Then I got home and scrolled through Twitter to see all the hilarious tweets about the Brooksgate.
I was in a rare form.
I’ve cooled off on the no-trade for Oubre. Granted, it’s a sad realization that we may never get a player as good as Kelly Oubre this season. However, you don’t flip Dillon Brooks for him. If it was NBA 2K, you probably do it — since it’s easier to upgrade and retain talent. In a world where team chemistry matters though, you keep Dillon Brooks. He’s been great for the Grizzlies and fits alongside Marc, Mike, and Jaren — both for the present and the future. He’s also on an extremely team-friendly deal that lasts longer than Oubre’s contact.
In light of all of it, Chris Wallace gained a lot of my respect for his transparency throughout the fiasco and for his commitment to player loyalty. In a league where loyalty is dead, it’s nice to know there’s someone in a NBA front office that cares about the human element about it.
Despite the no-trade for Oubre, it highlights that the Memphis Grizzlies need to make a move to stay afloat in the competitive Western Conference. It seems like the Grizzlies were aware of that as well — or they’re just like any good team that’ll trade 2 mediocre wings for one good wing, that makes sense too.
There’s just one glaring issue with the Grizzlies team that could hurt them. No, it’s not the wing issue I talked about last week. The Grizzlies simply have too much “decent” talent and not enough “good” talent. Aside from Mike, Jaren and Marc, there’s not much. In other words, there are too many role players, and the team falls apart when the go-to guys can’t get going.
Kyle Anderson and JaMychal Green are good tier-2 role players, but have their limitations. Anderson’s role in the offense — one I’m not fond of, per se — and his scoring ability don’t help Gasol, Conley, or Jackson when they’re off. JaMychal Green is a good third big, but can’t create his own bucket. Could Dillon Brooks be a guy the Grizzlies can rely on when the stars are off? We’ll wait and see.
Other than that, the Grizzlies’ inconsistencies relate to the fact that they have too many role players. There’s nothing wrong with role players, they are vital to a team’s success to an extent. However, they’re all usually relatively inconsistent offensively, which can be a hindrance sometimes.
The Oubre no-deal just opened some eyes to the realization to the fact that this rendition of the Memphis Grizzlies will have issues making it to the playoffs. A trade could help them make that push, even if it means unloading a young player — with the exception of Jackson, Dillon Brooks, and Jevon Carter — and/or a role player.
I’m not going to dive into a big tangent where I’ll give different scenarios on who they COULD get, but that’s not really needed. Usually I get my hopes down, and probably get yours down in the process too.
The bottom-line is, the Grizzlies showed the willingness to pull the trigger on a deal, even though they’ve always been high on Wayne Selden Jr. and MarShon Brooks. Don’t be surprised if Chris Wallace and company are buyers in the trade market once again this season.