by Lee Eric Smith
Lots of linkety-links, mostly from NY Media . . .
Newsday: Darko would welcome a trade.
TheKnicksBlog: Grizz want a first rounder.
RealGM Message Boards (via translation): Darko's "99 percent sure" he'll be a Knick by Friday.
Newsday Blog: Zach expects to be with Grizzlies this fall.
I know we're just Memphis, smallest NBA market, dealing with NY, the NBA's Biggest, but all I keep hearing about is why NY wants to unload Zach. . . . kind of an addition by subtraction thing.
What I haven't heard is: Why are we doing this trade?
I get it, Zach is a veteran 20-10 guy, a complete bull in the post, and we need somebody we can throw the ball to when the game slows down. And maybe that's all that needs to be said. But somehow, that doesn't seem like enough.
Upgrade? Look at it this way: NBA analysts all over the net are considering Darko a mild UPGRADE in New York, or at least a better fit. Now think about how the consensus on Darko is that he's a bust, and maybe you understand my concern. Why would Donnie Walsh trade a proven 20-10 guy for a promising, but still unproven Darko? Who's really getting fleeced here?
If Zach Don't Fit in NY: Given that Iavaroni wants to run just as much as D'Antoni in NY, and Z-Bo "doesn't fit" in D'Antoni's system, it begs the question of how Z would fit in Memphis.
Defense. Zach's not known for it; Kevin O'Neill will DEMAND IT. If we're trying to IMPROVE defense, why trade our best shot blocker? And do you think there would be chaos in the locker room if O'Neill jumped down Z-Bo's throat for missing an assignment? What would that do to chemistry? Would Zach run over Iavaroni?
What do we already have? Granted Hak is skinny and 'Toine is older, but Hak put up respectable numbers at the 4 in about 23 minutes, as did 'Toine in 19. I'm not saying that either of them is as good as Zach, but together, their production could conceivably add up to Z-Bo's -- without giving up an improving big man in Darko. Besides, if neither Zach nor Hak (hey, a rhyme) are going to play defense at the 4, I'd rather go with the young gun, who probably fits better with our running, swarming style (I hope . . . for both the style and Hak's fit).
The Knucklehead Factor. It's been said that both Zach and 'Toine can be knuckleheads. If that's true, in my mind, the tie goes to the one with the ring: Antoine Walker. He won a championship with Miami in 2006, and has more playoff wins than Zach. Plus, he's adapting to his now-and-future role as an aging player: backup to the younger players -- Hak and Darrell.
Paper. Ah yes, the money. Z-Bo's contract is the same as Pau's was, even expires at the same time (I think). Granted Z is tougher and meaner than Pau, no question, but I'm not sure how he fits the 3YP.
Proposed deal makes SOME basketball sense, little financial sense (unless they hold out for the draft pick), and almost NO "chemistry" sense. . . . to me, anyway. So . . .
Why are we doing this again?
If you got answers, please explain below . . .
Monday, September 8, 2008
by Lee Eric Smith