Grizzlies not looking to stockpile picks, they want to wheel and deal

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grizzlies.gifThe Memphis Grizzlies took a big step forward last year, they got almost all the way to .500. One of the best turnarounds in the league. But if they want to take another step — maybe into the playoffs? — they are going to need some more key contributors.

That does not mean project rookies. Which is all they would get with picks No. 12, No. 25 and No. 28 in the upcoming NBA draft. So the team may try to package those picks in a trade, according to what owner Michael Heisley told the Commercial-Appeal.

“We’ll be trying to trade from now through the draft,” Heisley said. “If we can get an impact player, we might trade all three of (the picks). If we can’t do that, then we hope to use those three picks to get an impact player.”

Stockpiling multiple picks rather than having one really good one is a fantastic strategy in the NFL, with its massive numbers game. In the NBA, where the pure talent of one player can carry a team a long way (see: James, LeBron) impact players matter a lot more.

Which is to say Heisley is on the right track. Not that getting an impact player is going to be all that easy, but he may be able to get someone of quality from a team looking to cut costs (two or three rookie contracts at once can help with that).

They are not alone, the Rockets are looking to move up as well. There may be more trading than normal leading up to this draft.

Watch Kobe Bryant’s entire retirement-announcement press conference (video)

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Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.

For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.