The Memphis fanbase is still buzzing from the Love/Miller for Mayo trade. And rightfully so. There has been lots of coverage of the trade here on Shades of Blue (where do we go from here, griz draft aftermath, highlights from the press conference, mayo the star or solar flare, initial take). And many other places, like....
The Nation of Grizzlam with some entertaining opinions on the trade, Chris Herrington with the most well-written and informative posts about the trade (kudos to Chris for being the primary source of information during the hectic post-draft hours), from the Commercial Appeal who has had superb coverage of the trade from all angles, John Hollinger on ESPN rang in to dis Memphis, AOL Fanhouse (thanks TZ) has given the trade alot of space, and just about every major NBA related internet site has given their take on the biggest trade of this years draft.
So, I'm here to make sure that the Mayo coverage is spread even thicker. I'll attack this in my usual, bulleted/list style.
No Need to Worry About Losing Mayo to a Big Market Anytime Soon
I know alot of people think geting Mayo, who seems like someone that wants to be in the national spotlight, is a waste because he will just bolt to a bigger market the first chance he gets. Well, I'm here to tell you that it will likely be 7-9 years before he gets that chance. Luckily the new CBA highly favors teams being able to keep their draft picks.
We have him in on his rookie contract for 4 to 5 years. The 5th year can be voided if he signs an early extension with us. And that extension has to be for at least 3 years. That will make his time in Memphis last 7 years total before he is an Unrestricted Free Agent. This is what LeBron and Dwade did. That gives us 7 years to get this team to be a stable contender. And even then, we will have the advantage when it comes to re-signing him, being able to offer more years, more money, higher increase in salary each year, and will not have to worry about salary cap restrictions.
There is the chance that Mayo would decline to sign an early extension with us, in which case he can become a Restricted Free Agent in year 5. But then we would be able to match any offer sheet he is signed too.
(this paragraph has been edited, I think I had some stuff wrong initially, sorry) The one doomsday scenario is that he can refuse to sign with anyone, and merely accept the qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent after 5 years. I hope this doesn't happen and can't remember it happening for anyone of much significance, Michael Olowokandi with the Clippers is the only example I know of. I doubt this happens. I also over-heard a conversation by people that know more than me about us trading for David Lee and what would happen if he refused to re-sign with during restricted free agency. There was something about a 6 month waiting period he would have to sit out, but now I can't find anything in Larry Coon's FAQ to back that up. Oh well. Bottomline, is that I expect if Mayo wants to change teams, he will do it LeBron and Dwade style, and do it 7 years from now, 4 years on a rookie contract and 3 years at Max or near Max money.
I Was Wrong to Be So Pessimistic
I told you guys, and told the Grizzlies.com messageboard, that I was not optimistic about this offseason. I thought we would make safe and unspectacular picks at 5 and 28. We would not spend any free agent money. And we would continue down the same path that won us a combined 44 wins the last 2 years.
I was wrong.
Heisley and Wallace took the chance. They went big as Noah would say. They did what was needed to be done to interject some life into this franchise. I applaud them for it. I give them a standing ovation for it. Wallace and Heisley made Draftmas the best Draftmas ever. Seriously, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Iavaroni Against the Trade?
The Commercial Appeal said that Iavaroni was against this trade. And that makes sense, his job is on the line in the short term and any trade that is thinking 3 years down the road is not good for his dinner table or 401K. But he will have to get use to it. Iavaroni's poor personnel decisions last year gave us the great Casey Jacobsen. Ivy needs to focus on how we defend the pick and roll and let Wallace do the player evaluation.
The Most Basic Reason Trading Love for Mayo Was the Correct Decision
Last year, when we had Pau, we sucked. No other way to put it. Wallace and Heisley saw it and knew we had to destroy this team and start over.
If our offseaon consisted of drafting Love to replace Pau, we would still suck. A starting lineup of Conley, Miller, Gay, Love and Darko is no different than it was with Pau. Probably worse, actually. We would still need to upgrade Miller or Darko in that scenario, and that would probably be difficult to do. Trading borderline starters and bench players usually doesn't net anyone quality starters. Particularly young, promising quality starters.
Trading for Mayo was the best option in the draft considering the bounty Riley wanted for Beasley.
Play Mayo at PG!!! Trade Conley!
By my count, we now have 5 guys that can play PG on our team. We have 2 guys only capable of playing point (Conley and Lowry). We have 3 combo guards (Mayo, Javaris, and Jaric). All those jokes about our 8 gazillion point guards just got even more appropriate.
What do we do now? Wallace said on ESPN national radio on Friday that he knows something will need to be done before the season to balance out our roster. Wallace has also said before the draft that he thinks Mayo can play both guard positions, but that he would be most effective and spend most time at point. Mayo has also said he envisions himself as a point guard in the NBA.
I think we need to play Mayo as the starting Point Guard. Period. I'm tired of midget ball (remember the lineups of Lowry, Navarro and Javaris?). I think Mayo will need the ball in his hands to be effective and Conley isn't effective playing off the ball (last year, I was told many times that if Conley was allowed to dominate the ball more and run more pick/rolls, he would look better....time to repeat that argument again). Playing Mayo as the starting PG is the best decision for this team to make.
And that means finding a trade for Conley. There has been a bunch of rumors floating around. On draft night, allegedly Memphis and Portland talked trade. I love this idea, because I am really high on Travis Outlaw. I think a Conley for Outlaw/Webster (or Outlaw/Frye) deal could be a win-win for both franchises. Two other teams I think could make good trade partners with regarding Conley are Phoenix (for Barbosa) and Detroit (for Prince).
Most of the Griz fanbase is saying to trade Lowry and Hak to balance out the roster. But, in my humble opinion, those two players are likely to net us a backup guard and backup forward, which is exactly what they are currently. Conley has the most trade value. Mayo will be most effective (IMO) at PG. Thus my conclusion is to trade Conley.
Sam Amico Should Have His Credentials Stripped
Traditionally, blogs have been a perfect place to rip on national writers. I want to do that here. And my target is Sam Amico of probasketballnews with his post-draft notes found here.
He starts by saying:
Memphis’ starting lineup will now look something like this: C Kwame Brown; PF Antoine Walker; SF Rudy Gay; SG Mayo; PG Mike Conley. Off the bench will be Darko Milicic, Hakim Warrick, Kyle Lowry, Marko Jaric, and new addition Marc Gasol. And there's no telling how good Gasol might be.Seriously? How can you be given any credence for someone covering the NBA when you think the Memphis starting lineup now includes Kwame Brown (he is a unrestricted free agent, idiot, and didn't even start over Darko last year or even play last year for that matter) and Antoine Walker (who is already being talked about as a buyout candidate). No mention of Javaris Crittenton or Darrel Arthur either. He also discussed the new Timberwolves rotation and completely left off Corey Brewer.