SH Blog: More on Grizzlies-Cavs trade: NBA Taxonomics

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As the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers completed a deal Tuesday  that will send three players and a future first-round draft pick to Cleveland in exchange for forward/perennial D-Leaguer Jon Leuer, we must all become more aware of the bigger picture at stake.

The clock is expiring on the NBA’s practical, dollar-for-dollar luxury tax era.

The rules are changing, and these deals will become more of the norm than the exception.

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Sheridan: Cavs robbed Grizzlies in Tuesday’s trade

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On the plus side for Memphis Grizzlies fans, they don’t have to worry about new owner Robert Pera having to reach deep into his wallet to pay the punitive repeater luxury tax in the years ahead.

As if Grizz fans care about Pera’s wallet.

The verdict here is that the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off a heist Tuesday in making their 3-for-1 trade with the Grizzlies, acquiring Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby and a first-round pick in exchange for Jon Leuer.

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Five Reasons to feel positive about the Memphis Grizzlies

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(This is another in a series of 30 guest columns that will run in October, when optimism reigns supreme across the NBA. The theme will be “Five Reasons to Feel Positive About … ” We encourage you to follow the authors on Twitter and visit their sites. – CS)

grizzlies small logoTwo seasons back, the Grizzlies were a Game 7 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder away from making it to the Western Conference finals. To that, they entered the 2011-12 season with greater expectations and visions of finally – for the first time in franchise history – making it past the second round of the playoffs.

Unfortunately, they ran into a Los Angeles Clippers team that actually posed to be a tougher matchup for the Grizzlies than the top-seeded Spurs they ousted in the 2011 playoffs.

As the Grizzlies tried to rebound from an epic Game 1 collapse at the hand of the Clippers, they eventually fell in seven games and suddenly caused many to wonder whether the team as constructed was good enough to make the jump to the next level.

Gone is O.J. Mayo, who signed with Dallas in the offseason. Back in the mix is, well, essentially the same team that lost in the first round to the Clippers. So the question remains: Is this core good enough to get the Grizzlies past the second round of the playoffs? Or are they nothing more than a regular season threat?

Sure, the core is essentially the same, but here are five reasons to feel positive about this Grizzlies team.

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SH Blog: Bulls face uncertain future with Rose injured

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The basketball world is focusing in on Barcelona, where Team USA narrowly defeated Argentina today.  For coverage of that, check out Chris Sheridan’s piece on why there’s no need for Team USA to panic, and also be sure to read his Diary of the Uncredentialed, and Jan Hubbard’s look back at the Barcelona Games in 1992, twenty years later.

Here’s today’s news from all over the NBA:

  • First reported by Peter Vecsey of the NY Post on Twitter, the Bulls will sign Nazr Mohammed, making it effectively a certainty that they will not match the Rockets’ offer sheet on Omer Asik.  How this impacts Houston’s pursuit of Dwight Howard remains to be seen, but Tony Mejia of ProBasketballNews.com tweeted that “Omer Asik’s signing will NOT affect the role Houston Rockets playing as main faciliatator of a deal that nets Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum.”  This isn’t unexpected, but the Rockets now have significantly less cap flexibility to take back some of Orlando’s bad contracts, which could hamper a potential Dwight-to-Houston deal.
  • After earning the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, only to get bounced in the first round of the playoffs after Derrick Rose tore his ACL, this offseason was off to a poor start for the Bulls.  This piece from K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune examines the Bulls’ offseason to date in wake of signing Mohammed and letting Asik walk.  Johnson writes, “In the wake of Derrick Rose’s knee injury, the Bulls have made their decisions. Whether they are interpreted as basketball or financial is in the eye of the beholder. On the one hand, the Bulls will enter luxury-tax territory for the first time in franchise history. But they will do so after letting Asik walk for nothing, an asset Forman repeatedly said he would match any offer for throughout last season. Plus, the team’s biggest star beyond Rose in posting the NBA’s best record in back-to-back seasons was its depth, its Bench Mob. That unit, save for Taj Gibson, whose extension is next on the docket, has been dismantled. Management will say its financial decisions are cloaked in basketball reasons. With Rose out until likely March, next season is a treading-water season. So instead of depth being the secondary star, the Bulls hope to add a legitimate one alongside Rose. With Hinrich, Belinelli, Radmanovic and Mohammed all signing short-term deals, the plan to clear major salary-cap space in 2014 will remain intact.”
  • Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype has a brief interview with LeBron James up.  In it, LeBron talks about becoming more of a post player: “I can see that happening. I feel very comfortable down there, more comfortable than I’ve ever felt in my career. So I would see myself down there a lot more, and work my game from there.”  The interview’s pretty short and not super in-depth, but it’s definitely a fun read and features LeBron saying he “doesn’t care” about becoming more liked by people.
  • Sierra also has an interview with Chris Paul where Paul talks about the upcoming Clippers season, and some of the teams new additions: “We had a big offseason. Our front office did an outstanding job bringing some players in. I’m excited to get back and play with my teammates.”  Sierra then asks if Paul helped to recruit some of the new Clippers signings, like Grant Hill, Chauncey Billups, and Jamal Crawford.  Paul responds, “Yeah, no question. I talked to Grant, talked to Chauncey, talked to Jamal… Talked to just everybody I possibly could. … My thing was, first of all, this is a first-class organization. Our front office and our staff is one of the best in the league. I also was just telling them how fun it would be to play with me, Blake [Griffin], DeAndre [Jordan] and Caron Butler.”  He’s certainly saying all the right things, but considering the uncertainty over whether he’d re-sign with the Clippers, things have to be looking good for him wanting to stick around in the future.
  • Ben Golliver of BlazersEdge.com has a report on Brandon Roy’s comeback, which started Saturday at the Jamal Crawford Pro-Am League in Seattle.  The game was his first public competition in over a year.  Golliver writes: “By halftime, Roy had contributed about nine points and six rebounds in a close game. After the break, Roy started to remind us all of how he once could–and maybe still can–cook. He started getting to the basket on a regular basis, showing off the hesitation moves and body control that made him one of the NBA’s top shooting guards. The Roy skills are still all there; the question is whether he still has the athleticism and explosion to harness them. In that regard, I would say Roy looked somewhat better than he did during the second half of the 2010-11 season, when he struggled for the Blazers.”  Also be sure to click through for some video of Roy’s performance during the event.
  • Las Vegas summer league update from Justin Verrier of ESPN.com: Damian Lillard and Josh Selby named co-MVPs, and the league’s All-Stars are Selby, Lillard, Malcolm Thomas, Bradley Beal, Tobias Harris, John Henson, Jeremy Lamb, Dominique Jones, Cory Joseph, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, Donatas Motiejunas, and Jae Crowder.

For previous blog entries, click here.

Dan Malone just completed his sophomore year at University of Kings College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is spending the summer in Baltimore, where he covers the Single-A minor-league baseball team the Aberdeen IronBirds for OriolesHangout.com.  He will be blogging on weekends for SheridanHoops this summer.

Grizzlies officially sign Gilbert Arenas

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Gilbert Arenas is back in the NBA, officially signing Tuesday with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Released under the amnesty clause in December – and still due more than $60 million from the Orlando Magic – Arenas worked out for the Grizzlies on Monday. The Memphis Commercial-Appeal reported that Arenas appeared slender and shot the ball well during the workout.

The Grizzlies could use Arenas’ shooting ability as they are next to last in the NBA with 3.8 3-pointers per game. Arenas also can play point guard, which would help Memphis spell Mike Conley with someone other than rookies Josh Selby and Jeremy Pargo.

What the Grizzlies can’t use is any of Arenas’ past goofball behavior, ranging from silly posts on his Twitter account to bringing guns to the locker room, which got him suspended by the NBA for the bulk of the 2009-10 season.

Memphis is in Sacramento for the start of a four-game road trip Tuesday. Arenas is expected to join the Grizzlies on Wednesday in Portland, according to the Commercial Appeal.

The Grizzlies (25-18) have withstood several injuries to key players this season and are one-half game behind the fourth-place Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference standings.

A three-time All-Star, Arenas has averaged 21.2 points and 5.4 assists in 10 seasons with Golden State, Washington and Orlando. However, he had a series of knee injuries while with the Wizards that robbed him of some of his explosiveness.