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(Commercial Appeal) Logo no go on trades

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by xiki, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

    Jun 18, 2002
    Likes Received:

    Calkins: Late-night trade helps lighten West's mood
    By Geoff Calkins
    June 29, 2005

    Who knew the 55th pick in the draft could make a man so happy?

    Who knew it could improve the mood, put a spring back in the step of a franchise?

    But here came Grizzlies president Jerry West, back to the media room to announce a late-night trade with Seattle to acquire former Mississippi State star Lawrence Roberts.

    He was smiling, joking.

    He told a small story about talking to Utah general manger Kevin O'Connor earlier in the evening.

    The two men congratulated each other on their drafts. Then, before signing off, O'Connor said, "Good luck getting Lawrence Roberts."

    West laughed at that one. It was good to hear, really.

    Especially after watching West mope his way through an entire press conference after getting Hakim Warrick with the 19th pick.

    "I really don't have anything to say," he said.

    Really? Not even about your first-round draft pick?

    West eventually said a few words about Warrick. Then he talked about some trades he wasn't able to make.

    "I'm disappointed," he said, "absolutely."


    He was disappointed? On draft night? Doesn't West know that's against NBA regulations?

    Nobody is disappointed on draft night.

    Unless they're as honest as West, and as frustrated.

    Take Tuesday's proceedings, which went almost exactly the way the Grizzlies personnel guys thought they would. They even had Charlie Villenuava going in the top 10, which surprised most people.

    But the third best player on the Grizzlies board was Gerald Green, the explosive, franchise-making high school player from Texas.

    Word was that Green might go to Portland. When the Trail Blazers took Martell Webster, Green started falling. And falling. And falling.

    And then it was just the Boston Celitics standing between the Grizzlies and the steal of all steals.

    "With the 18th pick, the Boston Celtics select Gerald Green."

    Arrrrrrrrgggh. That Danny Ainge always was irritating, wasn't he?

    None of which is meant to slight Warrick, who was slighted enough Tuesday.

    He was one of a handful of players invited to New York for the draft, a certain lottery guy.

    Heck, his agent didn't even let the Grizzlies give Warrick a private workout because there was no chance he'd still be there at the 19th pick.

    But there he was, long and lean, and you think he can learn to do that thing Stromile Swift does with his hands after dunks?

    If so, he's the perfect replacement for Stro, a virtual body double, and if you don't believe me, here's the official NBA scouting report.

    "Combines tremendous length and leaping ability with an ever-improving feel for the game. Extraordinarily aggressive on the offensive glass. Has developed more of an offensive repertoire."

    See? Is that Stro, or what?

    Except Swift didn't have the resume this guy does when he came into the league. Swift was all potential.

    Warrick won a national championship at Syracuse and averaged nearly 22 points a game last season. In his last four games -- three in the Big East Tournament and one in the NCAAs -- he averaged 22.5 points and 12 rebounds.

    So it was impossible to be anything less than happy after the pick. Except West was considerably less than happy.

    "We had a bunch of deals on the table," he said, "and none of them materialized."

    So Jason Williams was still a Grizzly. And Bonzi Wells was still a Grizzly. And Stromile Swift was still ...

    "Not one of them," said West.

    Sound familiar, anyone? West has come this close to big deals every off-season he's been in Memphis.

    He nearly traded up for Dwyane Wade. He nearly landed Erik Dampier and Michael Petrius.

    And that would be great if nearly counted in big-time sports. Alas, it doesn't

    "Don't tell me about the labor pains," said the noted philosopher, Bill Parcells. "Show me the baby."

    Which could be why West's mood improved after the Roberts deal. He finally had a baby.

    A bouncing, 240-pound baby who restored his sense of the possible.

    Maybe it would be the start of big things. Maybe it was the dam breaking.

    "You guys go to bed, we're going to be up late," he said.

    The man sure seemed to be smiling.
  2. Rockets34Legend

    Rockets34Legend Contributing Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Man, West really doesn't give a **** about Swift. He's going to be a hot commodity in the FA extravaganza. Hopefully the Rockets can jump on him.

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