NBA At 2: The Grizzlies Future. is there future as bright as portland,okc????
Grizzlies the Future? It's a bold statement, but Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley thinks his team could be part of the future of the Western Conference, and he said as much to Ron Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
"The thing I like the most is they all like each other and they play well together," Heisley said. "If the city doesn't find this team exciting, I don't know what to do. This is a team you can build for the future on. Add a couple of pieces and you have really got something here. It's a little like where Portland was a couple of years ago. Between us, the (Oklahoma City) Thunder and Portland ... I think that's the future of the West."
Perhaps calling that last line bold is an understatement; before the season began there were a few people who thought the Grizzlies could do well, but probably not be playing .500 ball in January (look it up, they really are!).
It's also something for Heisley to lay the claim the Grizzlies should be mentioned in the same breath as the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Portland is at least a year ahead of the other two having made the playoffs last spring, while the Thunder have roundly been accepted as the next team to make the leap (and are doing so this year). Do the Grizzlies really fit that same mold?
To put it bluntly, yes.
There are commonalities to the three teams and it starts with good young talent. All three teams have drafted well – take a look at the players on their rosters they have drafted (or brought in on draft day trades) and become serious parts of the rotation:
Portland – Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Martell Webster, Jerryd Bayless, Travis Outlaw, Greg Oden, Rudy Fernandez, Nicolas Batum, Jeff Pendergraph
Oklahoma City – Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green, James Harden, Nick Collison, Serge Ibaka
Memphis – Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Sam Young, DeMarre Carroll
All three teams have also made solid additions in free agency and via trade.
Portland – Joel Przybilla, Andre Miller, Juwan Howard, Steve Blake
Oklahoma City – Thabo Sefolosha, Nenad Krstic, Eric Maynor
Memphis – Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Jamaal Tinsley
If you look over those lists you will see that the stars of each of those teams came mostly from the draft while the players added via trade or free agency were brought in to address specific needs after seeing the core roster grow a little bit.
Portland laid out this blueprint for the Thunder and Grizzlies (though they learned much from how the San Antonio Spurs were built), but a key part of it is financial flexibility in addition to good drafting. The Blazers knew you only really get one good chance to make a mark in free agency before the core of young talent will get their big raises after their rookie scale contracts, and so far their moves seem to be working out (after a rough start for Andre Miller).
The Thunder will be faced with financial decisions this summer. Durant and Green will both be eligible for early extensions similar to what Portland gave Roy and Aldridge this past summer, and they are also expected to have over $10 million in cap space to spend on the missing ingredients to flesh out a playoff roster. Should they decide to spend that money it's quite likely it will be the last time they see themselves below the cap for a long time (check out Portland, who has about $34.5 million committed to the 2014-15 season already to keep their two stars, Roy and Aldridge).
The Grizzlies are in the same boat, but it has a different feel. All along people have generally expected the Thunder to put off the salary commitments as long as possible, but none have doubted they would make the deals when needed.
Memphis, on the other hand, has all along been expected to shy away from that kind of commitment. That's why, the critics say, Rudy Gay didn't get an early extension last summer like Portland's duo from the same draft class. These are the same people that were flabbergasted when Memphis took on Zach Randolph's contract from the L.A. Clippers (which has worked out nicely, Heisley says).
The Grizzlies are a year behind OKC on the contract decision scale. They have $48.7 million committed to 2010-11 for just about everyone on the roster who matters (save for Tinsley), but will have a decision to make on Gay's restricted free agency. They only have $16 million committed for the next season (more if they extend Gay), when they will have to think about extensions for Mayo and whether or not to re-sign Randolph.
Will they make the commitment? Heisley sounds very excited about the prospects for this team and their future success, which is key to keeping a core together. If they owner is excited and sees the possibilities he will be more likely to okay the spending necessary to keep such a team together.
Stay tuned Grizzlies fans - and keep your fingers crossed.
grizz future looks nice, but will they keep gay is a big question. They take a big step backwards if they lose him.
im pretty sure if they continue to play the way they are then they will do damn near whatever it takes to keep gay. if they werre losing like they were earlier then they wouldnt be considering it as much
I think the Thunder and the Blazers have more depth, a more suitable 1st option, more defenders and more versatile players than the Grizz, thus they have the less brightest future of all the teams named...
yea thats a good opinion iggy. a better number one option..but if i was a grizz fan id say the grizz have a better 3 punch with gay ,mayo, and randolph which is better then any 3 combo that either team hasas far as future..gay could be a allstar mayo and zach.. portland..oden could be on..roy okc durant and maybe westbrook. i think its a pretty valid arguement about memphis being up there. and we never know if teams will start to move backwards liek chicago did a coupel years back when everyone thought they were the young team of the future
I think the future is bright for the Grizz as long as they continue to aquire talent via the draft. They must do a better job of drafting, they have made some good picks but some duds as well.They need to do some trading to create some depth without giving up core parts, if possible trade a player like D.Arthur or S.Hunter and they're late first to get a extra wing or a point guard that would compete with Conley and help make him better.This next draft is crucial for the Grizz so hopefully if they don't trade they're pick they can look at a guy like S.Reynolds with that late 1st pick and best available with the early first round pick.I must give credit where it is due they handled the AI situation very well that could have destroyed this season but they hung in there and committed to winning more games and they have done that so far.Not quite at the level of Portland and OKC but I think they are getting there, quicker than expected definitley have shown they are one of the upstart teams in the league.The drafting of Sam Young is looking to be a stroke of genius that can somewhat offset the slow development of some of they're other draft picks this year.
Yea, all these teams could be Fool's Gold, because the players may or may not develop as much as everyone thinks (similar to how everyone thought Hinrich and Deng were going to be All-Star players back then)...
hopefully all three will develop . will make a very interesting west with these teams replacing thr mavericks,spurs and suns as the new elite teams
The Grizzlies are the baby Nuggets circa 2007 and 2008. They are stockpiling guys who can put the ball in the hoop and believe they just outscore people for 45 minutes and then mix in some defensive specialists like Sam Young, DeMarre Carroll, and down the road Hasheem Thabeet to get some stops when they need them. The difficulty will come when it comes time to keeping the core together. Z-Bo is a huge reason they are winning. He is already making a ton of money, but next time around is still going to want to be paid like a 20-10 guy. Marc Gasol is a legitimate starting center, and if guys like Mark Cuban are willing to throw $30 million at Marcin Gortat who knows what he'd pay Marc. Rudy Gay is going to be some team alternative after missing out on LeBron and Wade. Memphis could match, but the question is should they if someone does something stupid like max him out. Then comes O.J. Mayo, who is my favorite of the group. If they successfully keep the team together, add a better point guard than Conley at some point in the future, and somehow turn Hasheem Thabeet into a pretty good center who alters team's decisions on offense, then they could eventually be a fun little playoff team. Title, probably not.
But they wont really attract any valuable FAs. The market value in memphis isnt that good and there have been talks of them moving cities.
as for them moving cities, I've heard that legally there is no way out of their lease with the arena and even the owner said moving cities is a non possibility. The fans will come if they win games.
they will sign someone..people always say that about markets in places yet those same places end up getting good free agents. you can make endorsement money anywhere as long as u win
I believe all three teams have bright futures. It is imperative that ALL small market teams to draft well due to the disparity in revenue with the larger market teams. That's how most small market teams get their "star" players. Let me state the facts right quick. THE GRIZZLIES ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE! They are locked up for the next 10 to 15 years that they MUST obligate or pay stiff penalties. It will take a buyer with deep pockets to get anything done before then. in order for Memphis to have continued success, they must 1. Continue to draft well 2. Surround them with savy veterans 3.(this is obvious) they must keep their core together. The sky is the limit if they do those things.
I wish that you guys were right so they could move to Seattle... ahhh well
the grizz have a very bright future.
OKC is in the best situation because they have a lot of cheap young talent and will not have to worry about new contract until after next year. Memphis is looking like a future team but I take Sac's future ahead of them though.
I was at the Bradley Center and seen Portland lose to Milwaukee live.... they are not what there potential is...
Oden is always hurt...
Aldridge is not aggressive enough...i seen Adrew Bogut go to work on him
Who is Steve Blake???????
and is it safe to say that Webster should have went to college.
However Travis Outlaw and the kid from France that dunks on Gasol every game they play are great. I dont think Brandon Roy has the desire to be the best when it comes to playoff time......I seet them going no further then the second round in the next 3 years.
Kevin Durrant is the real deal, but i dont think the NBA wants a team from Oklahoma City to do anything big.
Russel Westbrook....underated, he had a good game out playing second year player Derrick Rose, but Westbrook is inconsistant.
James Hardy....good compliment to Durrant and Greene
Memphis does have a bright future cause they have Gasol and Thebeet!!!!!...O.J. Mayo needs to show us that he can play point guard, cause that is the only position that his size will allow him to play....Sam Young is use to winning, and will play better defense then Rudy Gay. wont put up the points but plays defense and rebounds.
Rudy Gay leaving will hurt them but it will give O.J. Mayo and the bigs more freedom to score.
lol...had to laugh at the nab doesnt want a team in okc to do anything big. as a business they want teams in small markets to do well. they want teams in all markets to do well because that means more money. why do you think they allow small markets to get nba teams?..if they didnt want them there they never would grant for a team to be there. i doubt rudy leaves especially this year since he is a RISTRICTED free agent and with them winning like they have they will match the offers he will get and he wont be getting a max contract
Is Rudy Gay worth a Max contract???????? You are right the small market teams are there so the league can make money...which is why the Lakers sell out everygame on the road along with Boston....they are there to make money not win Championships....lol look at Cleveland, they will never let Cleveland, Ohio aka the MISTAKE BY THE LAKE win a championship!!!!! lol
never let?..sorry it doesnt work that way. the leauge doesnt not let teams win it all.. they are there to win titles just like the big market teams. if the nba was about letting big markets win all the time the knicks clippers and boston would never have bad seasons. as well as miami and orlando
......................NBA will not be happy, if any of these Team win a championship, there market is jus too small...think Donaghy.
donagy is one ref. and it doesnt matter if the nba like sit or not. spurs cavs wasnt liked but the nba couldnt do anything about it. and donaghy did what he did because of money he owed not because they nba told him too
watch his interview on youtube the nba sends different refs to diff. games.....its all one big business..i find it very hard to believe that there was just one ref in this scandle.
how come the cavs played the spurs in the finals then?..how come the celtics dont play the lakers more?..how come lebron wasnt in the title game last year? because thats what everone wanted. why didnt the lakers beat ldet in the finals.. there are very big holes in youre theory. its pretty easy for one person/ref to do things when they owe the mafia money. but you can go ahead and continue to believe youre conspiracy stuff if it makes u happy