Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Shocking Free Agent Season

Marc Iavaroni promised to be on a free agent's doorstep on July 1st. Instead he was in Memphis preparing for the summer rookie camp.

Michael Heisley told the Grizz faithful that the team was going to focus on a significant big man on the inside to please Pau Gasol. Then it was reported that the Chris Wallace was in Argentina talking to Andres Nocioni?

Memphis was told by Chris Wallace they would be shocked with Memphis' free agent move this summer. So far nothing has happened.

I think it is safe to say most of their fans are shocked so far.

As the first official day that NBA free agents could sign contracts comes to an end, the Memphis Grizzlies have been noteworthy for their lack of offers more than who they are looking at.

Today some former big named players the Grizzlies were reportedly interested in at one time or another signed contracts all over the league, Chauncey Billups, Rashard Lewis, even Andres Nocioni, have all signed contracts with teams but still not even a rumor that a Grizzlies contract offer was refused. The Grizzlies are one of only two teams in the NBA below the salary cap and the other team, the Charlotte Bobcats, already has Emeka Okefor, Sean May, Walter Hermann and Primoz Brezac so big men probably aren't high on their list of free agent signees.

So Memphis should be in the cats bird seat to make a play at whatever big man they want. The best two, Anderson Varejao and Darko Milicic, are both available with the $8 miilion plus the Grizz have to offer. What is Chris Wallace waiting on?

Naturally Wallace doesn't have the 'complete autonomy' to make a deal that Jerry West reportedly had but the names available weren't a secret. Hasn't Wallace had time to contact both big men, find out their price, talk to Heisley and still be prepared to make an offer by now? Why hasn't the team made a move yet?

Maybe the team is hesitant to make an offer on Varejao because the Cavs has promised to match any offer. Perhaps the team is reconsidering their options now that Darko is an unrestricted free agent with the Rashard Lewis deal. What ever the reason Memphis fans were promised action and so far they have gotten nothing.

Is Wallace pursuing a trade route instead of simply dropping money in free agency? It would appear that there may be more talent available in a trade than is available in the free agent market but what do the Grizzlies have to offer in such a trade?

As it stands now there is no action, lots of silence and plenty of fan frustration.