For over a month, people that cover the Memphis Grizzlies on a daily basis have talked about what the Grizzlies could get in a potential trade for Tyreke Evans. We have had podcasts, articles, videos, and continuous trade machine proposals on social media.
It was a sure thing. So much so that the Grizzlies even held Evans out to prevent injury that would dissuade potential suitors and made that reason very public. Then Thursday came. The NBA Trade Deadline. This was the day everyone thought we were going to find out what the Grizzlies would get in return for their prized possession. What contender would be willing to give up a potential young player and/or pick for someone that might help them win a title? The deadline for NBA trades was a flurry of activity, but for the Memphis Grizzlies and Tyreke Evans, the deadline came and went.
It was confusing. It did not make a lot of sense. Why hold out a player, tell people publicly why you are holding him out, and then never make a deal you were intent on making for weeks. There were reported offers that were put in front of the Grizzlies that were good deals, deals that should have been taken. But the Grizzlies kept holding out for something better, hoping that someone would break and give them a first round pick, and that never happened. Unfortunately, this is the Memphis Grizzlies. This is what they do. They screw things up and they have been doing it for years.
This is the front office that won’t listen to trade talks for a 33 year old center that got coaches fired.
The same front office that made Ben McLemore the number one priority just last offseason.
The same people that told the fans they want to get a high draft pick and play young guys this season.
The same people that fired another head coach, yet still so many of them remain. At what point is it safe to say it isn’t the coach? Why is just the coach held accountable?
The very same people that could not even deal a player that multiple teams wanted and will now likely leave for nothing in the offseason.
These mistakes, blunders, or missteps, whatever you want to call them, have all happened in the last 12 months. This front office has been making similar mistakes for years, but it was okay. The team was making the playoffs every year, so the mistakes didn’t seem that bad. People let them slide because it was fun going to FedExForum every year during playoff games, even if you were getting bounced in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs.
I wish I could sit here and tell you that change is on the horizon. I wish I could tell you that these mistakes are so egregious that this will mean that surely someone will be fired, that the person in charge will certainly, finally, be held accountable for such blatant inability to get value for a player that several teams wanted.
The Grizzlies have been making these mistakes since Chris Wallace has been here. They picked Hasheem Thabeet, they traded Kevin Love away, they drafted Jordan Adams, Tony Wroten and so much more. I wrote a five part series just last year detailing how incompetent this front office has been over the last decade, and not much has changed. The problem is that nothing will change, nobody is going to be fired, nobody will be held accountable. Change starts from the top and owner Robert Pera has to understand that these mistakes are crippling the future of the franchise.
This is how this goes from this point forward. We all get mad that the Grizzlies could not do the one thing that was right in front of them. Everyone wonders how on the earth even the Grizzlies could mess this up. Articles will be written, radio shows will be filled with people talking about how terrible this front office is, and people will podcast about how this was a mistake. Marc Gasol will tell us after the first game that it is best for Tyreke to be here because they are trying to win now.
Chris Wallace will go on a radio show, or in front of the media today, and tell us how they wanted to keep Tyreke, and now they can offer him more money quicker than anyone else can down the road. Fans will reluctantly accept this scenario and then start to believe that they can keep Tyreke Evans for the long term. Tyreke Evans will get offered more money or a better opportunity to win somewhere else and then he will leave. Fans will get mad again because Chris Wallace lied to them again, but will come back because they love this team.
This has been happening for years though; fans have been clinging to this team because they have been making the playoffs. They had something to believe in, that maybe just maybe in the postseason they can make a run. The Grizzlies were always the ones that you did not want to see in the playoffs. The mistakes had not been forgotten, but they had not been glaring because of team success. Nothing has changed for this front office after so many draft blunders.
They passed on Draymond Green and Rodney Hood to draft players that were cut and out of the league now. They traded their own draft picks to other teams to take on extra baggage. There have been no repercussions after so many draft picks they just traded away because they thought were going to work out, never did.
The Grizzlies have gotten lucky with players in trades and then have turned it around like they were targeting those players all along (Marc Gasol). After this many years of mistakes from this front office, nothing has changed. There hasn’t been one person in the front office that has been held liable for any of this.
The idea of trading Tyreke Evans was supposed to be so simple. It was the one thing that everyone that covers basketball nationally agreed was the right thing to do for the franchise both long and short term. The short term would have provided losses that would be beneficial in climbing the ranks to a top draft pick. The long term would give the Grizzlies a player that could help you immediately next year with hopefully a healthy roster and back to the playoffs. Even after trading Tyreke away, you would still have the same opportunity as any other team to sign him to another contract. With all of that at stake, with all of that information available, the Grizzlies still could not get out of their otwwn way.
This should be the last straw. This is glaring, bordering on malpractice for a franchise to plan on trading a player, holding that player out, and then not take the best deal available. This mistake should be the one that finally calls someone’s job into question.
There are places when something this bad happens, people are immediately fired by owners for screwing it up, but in Memphis, this is the normal. This is what we have to deal with, nothing has changed over the past decade so why start now.
Fans deserve better than Chris Wallace, but they won’t get it.