Where’s the Wool?

Someone please reassure me that this is the symbolic representation of what the Grizzlies just did to all of us

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the trade. Both of them.

It would be hard not to, after all, with the entire NBA fandom on the edge of their seat wondering where Jason Kidd may go, just thinking the word “trade” sets off the sensors. This one probably caught a few people by surprise.

I know it caught me.

But here’s the thing: I honestly do not believe that this is the final part of this trade.

Think about this logically for a second (although that may turn out the be the downfall of this theory of mine): can that really be all the Grizzlies were after?

As a recap, here’s what they got in the Lakers trade. For Pau Gasol, they received Kwame Brown and his expiring $9,075,000 contract, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie (whose rights the Lakers had held for a situation where McKie’s cap numbers might make a deal balance out right—like this one), the rights to Marc Gasol (Pau’s brother, currently playing in Europe, probably included for numbers purposes only), a 2008 top-three protected first round pick, and a 2010 top-six protected first round pick (info from TrueHoop—good look Henry Abbott).

Then, in the Nets trade, which I’m not sure has been finalized yet, but was originally reported by a Grizzlies official, Memphis swapped Stromile Swift straight up for Jason Collins.

So the Grizz get rid of their best player for a young guard (rare in Memphis), a decent chunk of cash, a bad big man, and two future picks that are all but guaranteed to be late first round choices. Their roster now looks like this:

  • Andre Brown — PF, 6’9″
  • Kwame Brown — C, 6’11”
  • Brian Cardinal — PF, 6’8″
  • Jason Collins — C, 7’0″
  • Mike Conley — PG, 6’1″
  • Javaris Crittenton — G, 6’5″
  • Rudy Gay — SF, 6’9″
  • Casey Jacobsen — SF, 6’6″
  • Kyle Lowry — PG, 6’0″
  • Darko Milicic — C, 7’0″
  • Mike Miller — SG, 6’8″
  • Juan Carlos Navarro — G, 6’3″
  • Hakim Warrick — PF, 6’9″

Who starts up front, Darko and Kwame? Darko and Collins? And then their guard situation—some jumble of Conley, Navarro, Crittenton, and Lowry? Nope. No way. I don’t buy it.

Something about this just doesn’t add up. First off, look at the Memphis’ needs. They are in serious need of a 2. And a real big man. PG and SF are taken care of (Conley and Gay), Darko and Collins/Kwame can fill a secondary post spot. But a shooting guard and a good big are needed.

Are they stock-piling for a free agent push?

The San Francisco Chronicle thinks there’s a possibility they’ll go after Monta Ellis, a restricted free agent. But just because he’s local doesn’t mean he fits a need; he would just be another undersized guard on a team full of them.

Luol Deng (restricted)? Doubt it. Azubuike (restricted, player option)? Not likely. Iguodala (restricted? Maybe.

These aren’t exactly the type of players you stockpile for.

The two biggest names available are Gilbert and Antawn Jamison, but I doubt Gilbert wants to go to Memphis, and if he doesn’t re-sign in Washington, Antawn’s a lock to.

So what’s the deal?

Well, if you recall, Jason Kidd’s name is still floating around, right? I mean, the Nets just picked up an older version of Sean Williams to add to Josh Boone and Nenad Kristic when (if?) he returns. That seems a little fishy. And the Lakers trade was too lop-sided to be Memphis’s end goal.

I’ve never played with ESPN.com’s Trade Machine, and I don’t really feel like starting tonight, but wouldn’t it make sense that Memphis acquired Kwame’s expiring contract and a few more young pieces in order to make a big trade? And doesn’t Stro seem a little too expendable on the Nets for the idea of him being part of three or four-way Kidd package to be completely ruled out?

Last I heard, the Trail Blazers may still be interested in dealing for Kidd. And they have an excess of big men next year with Oden returning and quite a few guards—coincidence that the Grizzlies could use a young big man and a shooting guard?

A swap for a couple of Blazers for Kwame’s contract, which then gets turned around to make proper compensation for the Nets? I’m not saying this is legit, it probably doesn’t add up right, I’m just throwing out ideas.

Because if the Grizzlies really just made that trade to the Lakers with Kwame Brown and Crittenton as the punch line… there’s got to be more, right?


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