The Memphis Grizzlies signed free-agent center Hamed Haddadi pronounced (ha-MED ha-DAHD-dee), who led all 2008 Olympians in rebounding and blocks, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
So Haddadi will join the internationally flavored frontcourt pairing of Marc Gasol (Spain) and Darko Milicic (Serbia) at the center position this season.
This is a solid signing, even if it will be viewed as Wallace attempting to "catch lightning in a bottle" once more from some of the more pessimistic fans. At the very least, it provides Memphis with another big body to throw out there in case Darko's Achilles injury is more serious than anyone thinks or if either Milicic or Gasol suffer an injury this season. His shotblocking and rebounding skills make him a worthwhile gamble for this young, up-and-coming team.
No word on whether or not he's bringing a camel with him though. I'll keep you updated on that front as information becomes available.
RUMOR: It has come to the attention of the bloggers at 3 Shades of Blue that Hamed Hadadi's contract is multi-year and similiar in nature to a 1st rd draft pick's contract (no idea where in the first round that contract would fit but it probably is somewhere between 20 and 30. This has not been confirmed yet but the source is reliable. It is believed that Ron Tillery will have the details more precise in print very soon.
This makes sense to lock him up for at least 3 years. If he develops at all then the Grizzlies have his Bird Rights. If he doesn't then someone else will gladly take a chance for an inexpensive big man. As has been mentioned on the radio lately, there just aren't a lot of big men around these days.