Memphis and Wiz, Slow Your Roll


Staying put… for now.

This past year, Washington D.C. looks like the worst place to be a young athlete. Stephen Strasburg benched, Robert Griffin III sidelined with injury and John Wall missing a huge chunk of this year’s NBA season. Now that Wall is finally back, looks like the Wiz have already made an attempt to dump their Rookie of the Year candidate.

Wait, what?

Yes, after just one Washington game with both Bradley Beal and Wall in the Wizard’s backcourt, trade rumors are swirling around the young rookie out of Florida who was taken third overall in the 2012 draft. Sources are reporting this morning that Wiz GM Ernie Grunfield apparently sent an offer to Memphis for Rudy Gay.

Memphis has put it out there that they are shopping the starting forward in his seventh season out of UConn and already fallen out of a possible trade with Toronto. Problem with that trade: the Griz were asking for too much. The deal would have potentially sent Jose Calderon, Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross to the city of Graceland.

In return, Toronto would have gotten an average perimeter scorer who has yet to live up to his larger-than-life ability that people saw him achieving. Not to mention Gay’s contract that has another $37 million attached to it after this season. The biggest knock on Gay coming out of college was his lack of a voice and leadership. It’s looking like he’s never going to develop those traits.

Washington is definitely looking for more scoring. Right now, the Wiz are last in the league in scoring with a mere 89.4 points a game. Additionally, their frontcourt is less than stellar. Emeka Okafor is having the worst season of his career with less minutes and Nene hasn’t been healthy. It’s going to take a lot more than Martell Webster to take a team to the postseason especially on a team that is currently experiencing its only winning streak of the season with two.

By putting Beal on the block, the Wizards are showing a complete disregard for their future. We have seen the two-guard combo work on several other teams if not to bolster their roster at the time but to build a tradeable player later down the road (Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis with Ellis being sent to Milwaukee and Golden State sitting pretty well right now with that 5th seed in the West). Right now, a third overall pick for an underwhelming forward doesn’t just doesn’t seem fair.

The same could be said for Memphis. Frankly, the frontcourt with Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Gay is working out. They took the Clippers to seven games last season in the first round and the year before they upset the No. 1 seeded Spurs; however, Gay missed that series with a shoulder injury. The trade would also completely disregard their breaking up of the O.J. Mayo/Mike Conley backcourt. Mayo is now in Dallas and would load their backcourt back up. Although that deal was done to save money in the long run, Memphis is winning with defense and bringing in a young guard would not contribute to that formula.

It’s conclusive that this trade really didn’t need to happen. Both Memphis and Washington need to step back and look at what they really need. Frankly, the Wiz’s season is already over. With only six wins, it’s apparent that they need to build that frontcourt with the draft since there really is nothing to save with their 2012-13 season.

In Memphis, it’s always been about saving money for an organization that needs to step up and spend some cash. Yes, they do have four max contracts with Connely, Randolph, Gasol and Gay but that’s not necessarily a bad thing when you have a chance to win now. This team just learned how to make the playoffs so it would be best to see how that plays out.

Put the brakes on guys. This trade did not need to happen since it would have been premature on just about every level.



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