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[Yahoo Sports]Memphis owner now questions value of Gasol deal

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by JusBleezy, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. JusBleezy

    JusBleezy Contributing Member

    Jul 14, 2004
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    (Admin note: Please include a link to any article posted on the board)

    For months now, maybe the man most responsible for Los Angeles’ championship run has been ripped over the Pau Gasol trade. The mere mention of suspicions over Memphis’ motives gets the Grizzlies owner’s voice rising on the telephone, gets him going on the gossip that suggests something unseemly happened on the way to a Lakers renaissance.

    Michael Heisley starts to ask, well, who is ripping Minnesota for the Kevin Garnett trade?

    How about Seattle and Ray Allen?

    “Is anybody jumping on Popovich in San Antonio because he traded that center to Houston for virtually nothing?” Heisley wondered.

    Heisley was talking about Luis Scola, the forward, whom had been a long-ago draft pick of the Spurs. Only problem was, Scola never played a minute for the four-time champions. Gasol was the Grizzlies’ franchise player, and it was Spurs coach Gregg Popovich saying on the record what most of his peers had only the guts to say without attribution: What in the world was Memphis management thinking on the Gasol trade?

    When much of the league was determined to make a serious bid for the 7-footer, how could Memphis settle so long before the February trade deadline for such a paltry offer out of the Lakers?

    For the first time, even Heisley wondered whether his general manager, Chris Wallace, blew it by caving so soon to the Lakers.

    “I don’t know if I got the most value,” Heisley confessed. “Maybe our people should’ve shopped (Gasol) more and maybe we would’ve gotten more, done a better deal. Maybe Chris did call every team in the league. I don’t think he did, but maybe he should’ve…”

    Around the league, nothing will change this belief: Whatever the reasoning, this was one of the NBA’s worst trades in years. Most of all, rival executives wonder why they never had a chance to submit a best offer. For Gasol, the 7-footer who transformed the Lakers in the absence of Andrew Bynum, the Grizzlies were willing to take back the expiring contract of Kwame Brown, rookie point guard Javaris Crittenton, two future No. 1 picks and the draft rights to Gasol’s brother, Marc.

    Crittenton is nothing special, and those draft picks in 2008 and 2010 will be near, if not at the end of, the first round. Gasol had demanded a trade out of Memphis, had been moping around, giving less than his best. Yes, he had to go, but you don’t trade your franchise player without getting back a minimum of a sure-thing young star and/or two solid young starters. For Memphis, salary-cap space will probably turn out to be money that’ll never make it back into the roster.

    The one-sided nature of the trade inspired a lot of people to believe that retired Memphis GM, Jerry West, a Lakers’ legend, played a part in facilitating the deal. West was instrumental recruiting Wallace as his replacement in Memphis and still holds a close relationship with Heisley. His history in Los Angeles, especially his bond with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and star Kobe Bryant, made even the fair-minded cynical about the scenario.

    Several sources close to the process insist West played no part, and Heisley swears, “Jerry didn’t know about the trade until after it was done.”

    Still, it hasn’t stopped a rampant anger around the league that this wasn’t so much of a trade, as much as it was the word that Bryant himself used: a “donation.” Privately, the Lakers were thrilled that they were able to keep negotiations with the Grizzlies quiet because Los Angeles officials were blown away that they could get Gasol for so little.

    One source with knowledge of the process said the Bulls had made the most credible offer. For Gasol and Memphis’ Hakim Warrick, the Bulls were willing to part with Andres Nocioni, Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah, Thabo Sefolosha, possibly Adrian Griffin and draft picks.

    Heisley didn’t offer up those names, but insisted, “Chicago wouldn’t offer us any of their good, core players,” he said. “Our people told me that we weren’t able to get equal trade value for Gasol and that we needed to do a deal that would give us cap space and draft picks. It was no secret in the league that we were considering offers for him, but the Lakers were the one team that stepped up.”

    Heisley has been losing money in Memphis, a small market where the franchise has come to flounder. He tried to sell the team, but no one has reached his asking price. Around the league there are those who believe that Wallace was forced to turn the Gasol trade into a salary dump, and there are league officials, including a close friend, who believe, “There is no way that Chris ever would’ve made that trade on his own.”

    “I have no buyer’s remorse,” Heisley said. “Listen, I can’t tell you how many people would tell me, wherever I went in Memphis, ‘Get rid of Gasol. …Trade Gasol.’ And then some of the same people are booing us because we traded him. But I don’t mind that. I’m a big boy. I can take it.”

    He could live with watching Gasol playing an immense part in bringing the Lakers to the Finals, but he just wonders: When do we get our just reward for gutting this roster, for relentless futility? He keeps watching teams with better records get the luck of the bouncing balls in the draft lottery and the Grizzlies never get that transcendent player to save the franchise’s fortunes. Memphis missed on LeBron James and just one year ago, with the worst record in the sport, they still didn’t get a top two pick to take Greg Oden or Kevin Durant.

    “We’ve been in the lottery more than anyone in the NBA, and we’ve definitely had the worst record twice as much as anyone else,” Heisley said. “This is sure a fantastic system we have – isn’t it? – where we’ve never gotten the No. 1 pick. Our ticket sales just stopped last year when we didn’t get one of the top picks. What’s the sense in of all this?”

    The Grizzlies have been waiting for something, for someone to save them – maybe the bouncing the ball, maybe dumb luck – but they’ve done little to help themselves. The owner of the Memphis Grizzlies says, yes, come to him with criticism for the Gasol trade because he had the power to stop it. Now, he’s watched the Lakers rush to the NBA Finals, the immense impact Gasol has had with Bryant, and he’s asking the same question the rest of the league hasn’t stopped grumbling for months.

    Did the Grizzlies get the best value possible for Pau Gasol?

    “I don’t know if I got the most value,” he said.

    Even so, you get the idea that, yes, the man most responsible for the Lakers’ championship run does know now.

    Between February and now, that truth hasn’t changed. The answer’s still the same.

    No way.

    Not even close.

    By Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports

    I found it funny that he mentioned the Luis Scola deal. Seriously?
  2. AGBee

    AGBee Member

    Jun 21, 2002
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    Hey, more proof that he knows nothing about basketball.
  3. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

    Apr 29, 2006
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    More proof to anyone who's head isn't stuck in the ground that the Pau "trade" wasn't a trade; it was a giveaway. One of the stupidest deals ever made handed a team that would have barely made the playoffs into an NBA finalist and probable NBA champion.

    Before I hear it again: You can tell me to "get over it" any number of times, but I won't. This lopsided deal turned the Western Conference and the NBA upside down and gave the Lakers a championship.
  4. dntrwl

    dntrwl Member

    Mar 14, 2007
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    I seriously LOL'd at that. He calls Scola a center and wonder's why he did the trade for Brown.

  5. yobod

    yobod Member

    Jun 23, 2002
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    This article tells me what I basically already knew....that the Grizzles gave away Gasol in hopes that they would tank, and get the number 1 pick. The fact that he alludes to having the worst record twice as much as anyone else, yet never getting the first pick obviously reveals his sour grapes over the system that is in place to ensure that teams like his DON'T tank. Ironic, isn't it, Mr. Heisley. I hope you never get the first pick, you sandbagger.
  6. v3.0

    v3.0 Contributing Member

    Jan 23, 2005
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    Maybe this is the Grizzlies way of telling an eff you to the rest of the teams that were trying to lowball them for Gasol. Not only are those teams not getting Gasol, but those teams and the rest of NBA are going to be subjected to watching the Lakers go back as NBA perennial powerhouse and them regularly going to the Finals.

    I really have to :rolleyes: at Pops being the one making the public comment about the trade, the Spurs and him don't exactly have clean hands on their rise to 4 titles. Karma is a b**** Pops, how does that middle finger look from lalaland. Like he'd turn down that deal also if all he had to give up to get Gasol is his scrub players.
  7. Like A Breath

    Like A Breath Member

    Dec 8, 2002
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    Could there be a bigger lowball than KWAME BROWN?

    And for the writer or Memphis owner to suggest that the Al Jefferson or the #5 pick in the draft is anywhere close to Kwame and a bunch of #30 picks are equal is absolutely insane and irresponsible. Al Jefferson might be the most underrated player in the NBA the way he is overlooked. If the Celtics didn't have to give him up for Garnett, they'd be the surefire NBA champs right now.
  8. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

    Aug 10, 2001
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    Or how about just reading it as clear as can be: Heisley and Wallace are morons and shouldn't be owning/running an NBA franchise. There are no "eff you"s or trying to screw over other teams. No, the only eff you that was administered was to the few fans the Grizz had left for having to put up with such an inept owner and an even more clueless GM.
  9. thacabbage

    thacabbage Contributing Member

    Jun 30, 1999
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    Agreed. Historically speaking, this will be the most impactful trade in the modern era. I'm one of the biggest Kobe fans on this board, but there's no way that guy should be in any discussion as better than Jordan. But that is what this trade has done and will do. It changed history.
  10. jopatmc

    jopatmc Contributing Member

    Sep 4, 2002
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    Heisley is the moron. And I still believe Jerry West had something to do with it and now Heisley and Wallace are trying to cover their a..es.

    I sure hope this does away with all the geniuses that were questioning me when I said there were better offers on the table and that a lot of teams would have trumped the Lakers offer. I sure hope this does away with all the geniuses that thought Memphis got the best deal they could find for Gasol.

    I agree with A3PO. Congratulations Heisley for giving the Lakers a trophy.

    I am going to be rooting my tail off for the Boston Celtics, a team I do not like right now, just so that I don't have to see Kobe and Gasol kissing the trophy. Please, Boston, put these guys down.

    And I hope that Memphis folds instead of sells and Heisley loses his shorts on it.
  11. v3.0

    v3.0 Contributing Member

    Jan 23, 2005
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    I give this analogy:

    I have a valuable piece of property but I'm in a bind and need to get rid of it. I get a few offers for it but all of them are lowball offers of what I want for it. And the same people who gave the first lowball offer keep coming back with basically the same lowball offers with maybe a few changes to it. I'm so pissed off cause I know those people know that I'm in a bind and they are just trying to take advantage of the situation. So I suddenly say eff it and give the property to a whole new offer from a new group with a ridiculous offer, the only thing that I know about that group is that I have peers that were close to that group (and would appreciate me for doing this deal), and that I know that my property is best suited and will be used to it's full capacity with that group, as opposed to the other groups who might use my property incorrectly and let it go to waste.

    I've seen this before, where someone will take another person's lower offer just to spite others who tried to lowball them.

    And to clarify my last part, Gasol is in the perfect system to fully utilize his skills, he is perfect for the triangle. I doubt the Bulls would do go anywhere even if they obtained Gasol.

    Wallace knew he was being screwed, he was doing many things with this trade: 1) carry out his owner's objective of cutting payroll, 2) giving ode and thank you to his mentor Jerry West who gave him the GM job, 3) giving the middle finger to the other teams who lowballed him.

    Heisley, well he's an owner. They, in general, know nothing about basketball.
  12. professorjay

    professorjay Contributing Member

    Oct 20, 2006
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    Spite is an awful reason to jeopardize an entire franchise.
  13. DVauthrin

    DVauthrin Contributing Member

    Nov 4, 1999
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    I completely agree with you. heisley is lying through his teeth in that article if he thinks the bulls or others didn't want to part with solid players for gasol.
  14. baller4life315

    baller4life315 Contributing Member

    Sep 2, 2003
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    Even further proof this guy knows nothing about basketball.

    Despite KG's success in Boston you can argue that Minnesota still got the better end of that deal. KG, much like his current teammates Allen and Pierce, had proven time and time again to be entirely incapable of carrying a team by themselves. The solution? Trade those guys to the EAST on the SAME team. Sure, it makes boatloads of sense from Boston's end but you're completely oblivious if you ignore the fact that Minnesota made out like bandits too.

    The point is everybody got what they wanted. Boston gets star that helps put them over the top. Minnesota gets their 23-year-old franchise player, a top notch role player in Gomes, a couple first-rounders and the financial freedom to be a key player in free agency after Ratliff's nearly $12 million comes off the books.
  15. YallMean

    YallMean Member

    Mar 20, 2003
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    To Memphis's owner:
    just because there are other r****ded deals out there, it doesn't mean you are less r****ded.
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Member

    Feb 15, 1999
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    Lets face it, he is the biggest dog in sports at the moment. There is nothing he can say that will redeem his place in NBA history for basically showing that he has no drive to win.
  17. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

    Dec 24, 2007
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    I dunno...something still is fishy. And that is like the worst reasoning ever to pull a NBA trade; make sure your franchise loses so another can win, what kind of effed up logic is that? Not only that, but it looked like Chicago had at least a credible offer. Maybe Memphis was pissed that Gordon and Deng weren't a part of it...but wow, that's a significant chunk of quality players, including two promising young PFs in Noah and Thomas to replace Gasol and draft picks that would go at least a bit higher then those the Lakers gave the Grizzlies.

    Seriously, either it's a conspiracy or Memphis as an organization is just plain and simple, r****ded.
  18. hooroo

    hooroo Member

    Oct 16, 2003
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    Les wasn't happy about the Rudy Gay straight away he said they should've gotten more (picks?).

    It took Heisley an entire season to realise? He's just covering his backside.
  19. Kim

    Kim Contributing Member

    Feb 17, 1999
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    So on one hand they don't like being the laughing stock organization of the NBA (it's impressive to supplant the Clippers in that regard), but on the other hand they want to slash salary because they're losing $$, and tank games in hopes of landing a star player to make $$. You know Heisley would love to take Mike Miller's salary off the books, but he doesn't want to look like an idiot again.
  20. sook

    sook Rookie

    Apr 2, 2008
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    lol i read this yesterday, hes pissed because he never gets a top pick in the draft and thinks its a conspiracy!

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