A young backcourt, a bouncy dunker, two low-post additions that will help at the offensive and defensive end, a team that could gain popularity with Calipari leaving Memphis … good time to be a Memphis Grizzlies fans, right?
… the Grizzlies recently decided to let go of their scouts. Yes, all of their scouts. “I prefer a smaller group,” said Chris Wallace, the Grizzlies GM. Last season, the Grizzlies had five full-time amateur scouts. This season, the Grizzlies will have no full-time college scouts.
This is an idea that is four stages beyond bad. This is worse than remaking 90210 and Melrose Place. Worse than David Kahn of the Timberwolves drafting two point guards in the first round.
Potential conversation among Memphis front-office types this winter:
FO1: You guys see what Arinze Onuaku did to Greg Monroe this weekend? Caught the tail end of the highlights – he had 25-19!
FO2: No, missed the game, had to take my kid to a bday party.
FO3: Wife dragged me to Dollywood.
Chris Wallace: Had to mow the yard.
Owner: Since we obviously didn’t have scouts at the game, can we watch clips on Youtube? Read about it? What are the blogs saying? Can we call the school and get the tape?
FO1 and Chris Wallace, simultaneously: Not it.
FO2: Who has time, in addition to all their other duties, to watch it?
FO3: Can we bring the scouts back?
In defense of the inept Chris Wallace, the Grizzlies had some poor drafts earlier this decade which makes you wonder just what the hell the scouts have been doing:
2003: Marcus Banks at 13; Steve Blake and Mo Williams turned out to be more productive PGs.
2005: Warrick at 19; Kleiza and David Lee went later in the first. Both are better; Brandon Bass and Ronny Turiaf went in the 2nd round, and they could be better soon.
But in the last two years, the Grizzlies haven’t done a terrible job in the draft, though it’s difficult to botch top five picks: Mike Conley at No. 4 in 2007 could pan out this year; swapping Kevin Love for OJ Mayo last year appears wise after just one season. We don’t see the Grizzlies having a top five pick next year, which makes scouting crucial.
But it’s hard not to look at this move as additional evidence that the Grizzlies care less about basketball than the bottom line. No scouts? For a team that has said it is committed to building through the draft?
We were all set to pledge allegiance to the hapless Milwaukee Bucks and help those guys get back to the halcyon days of Pressey/Moncrief/Cummings/Listor, but it appears as if the Grizz need more help. Two years after one of the worst trades in the last decade (giving Pau Gasol to the Lakers), they now plan don’t have a scout on the payroll? We’re here to help, Mr. Wallace.
Scouts’ honor, Grizzlies’ cutbacks revealing priority (Commercial Appeal)