Friday, December 7, 2007

Can We Talk?

From time to time I am going to bring up a topic that doesn't have an answer but is worthy of discussion. I am not trying to give an answer here but just get people to think. Last week I did it with the question about whether there is something going on emotionally with the team (Is Trouble Brewing Behind the Scenes?). This week I want to address the idea of a trade for one of the Grizzlies point guards and a not so obvious choice for who should be gone.

Three months ago nearly everyone who thought about the Memphis Grizzlies assumed Damon Stoudamire would not be playing at all this season. People told me I was insane for suggesting Damon would not only play but start the season at the point. Even I assumed that either Michael Conley or Kyle Lowry would be unseating Damon by December or at least taking the majority of his minutes and by January he would be ready for the trading block with either Hakim or Stro (I still look good on that at least).

No one, and that includes Chris Wallace and Marc Iavaroni, expected Damon to be increasing his minutes played in December. But that is what appears to be happening. Sure part of the reason is that Micheal Conley is hurt but for the first time this season Damon played more minutes than Kyle Lowry in three successive games. Against Houston Damon played 29 minutes compared to Kyle's 18.

Apparently Damon is recovered from his knee injury. That injury occurred nearly two years ago. A lot of smart people told me that if Damon could return it would be a two year rehabilitation. Well two years later we are seeing a slightly slower but still capable Damon Stoudamire leading the team. The limp is gone and the big shot capability is back. Next season Michael Conley should be ready to assume the point but won't the Grizzlies need need an experienced player backing him up. Is Kyle Lowry that man? Damon will be on the last year of his contract, 35 yrs old and capable of doing what Conley hasn't proven he can (hit the three on a consistent basis). Damon has experience and has expressed the desire to be a coach one day. Who better to work with a 2nd yr point guard?

So could Kyle Lowry be on the blocks instead of Damon? Kyle would attract a different sort of suitor than Damon. That is certain. A suitor for Damon would be a team with playoff hopes who need an experienced PG to help them get to the playoffs due to injury at the point. A team wanting Kyle would be looking for a young PG to grow into the leadership role and not necessarily looking to win this season. The Grizzlies would probably need to add someone to a deal to make it cost effective since Lowry doesn't make a large salary also.

Common sense says trade Damon and keep both young PG's but is common sense right? I don't know the answer but it might be time to start the conversation.

UPDATE: With Kyle Lowry winning the Fan's Choice Figurine Award I hope this subject is moot. I would hate to see the Grizzlies run a give away promotion with a player no longer on the team again.


Anonymous said...

The thing you left out of your scenario, Chip, is who would we trade for (or at least what kind of player). Kyle's offensive game has a lot of growing to do, but in terms of desire, toughness and defensive doggedness, all of that's already there. Those qualities alone make him valuable enough to keep, even if his offensive skills only consist of passing the ball to Rudy (which, of course, they won't).

So maybe you see where I'm headed. Frankly, I think we keep all three. Think about it: Two of them have had season-ending injuries early in the season (Damon 05, Kyle 06); Conley's out hurt right now. The way I figure, three banged up point guards = two healthy ones.

I'd hate to trade Kyle, then have Damon blow out his knee again while Conley's on the mend. It's not like we have Chucky Atkins anymore . . .



ChipC3 said...

Good point about keeping all three but then you run into a similiar problem when all three are healthy don't you? Who gets minutes and if Iavaroni is going to run an 8 man rotation, as he has said is his desire many times, then one of the three are getting no court time.

Right now with Conley out that is fine but when Conley returns one of the three will sit for the entire game.

Or you look to trade one and unleash the value that either their experience or potential has. I am not saying trade someone today but with Navarro available as a 3rd point guard the understanding among most fans has been that one of the big three (Conley, Lowry and Stoudamire) will be moved this season.

My comments were only to bring up the possibility that Lowry may be the one moved if one is moved. I am not suggesting that we should move Lowry.

hptmatt said...

Chip, are you trying to put Zack in a mental institution???

Understood that you're just bringing up the possibility.

I personally think that they will not move Lowry-it is an easy conclusion at which to arrive that Wallace et. al. believe, as do many of us, that the pure-PG-ness of Conley and the BULLDOG defense of Lowry (unless it's someone who's six inches taller and much more experienced than he is) make a perfect balance of VERY young PG's for a developing team.

But...the old axiom always applies..if a trade upgrades your team, make it...