Grizzlies GM Wallace receives extension

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The Associated Press is reporting that Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace has agreed to a multiyear deal with the team. The move represents the franchise’s trust in Wallace as they head into one of the most important off-seasons in team history: not only do the Grizzlies hold three first-round picks in this year’s draft, but star forward Rudy Gay is likely to become a free agent. 

Wallace has been in the NBA for 23 years; he is currently best-known for engineering the Pau Gasol trade, which gave the Grizzlies young talent like Marc Gasol as well as some cap space while kick-starting the latest Laker dynasty. 
More recently, Wallace made the draft-day trade that sent Kevin Love to the Timberwolves in exchange for O.J. Mayo, and managed to trade Quentin Richardson for Zach Randolph, who had something of a bounce-back year for the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies have also taken Mike Conley Jr. and Hasheem Thabeet in the draft during Wallace’s time as GM, and neither of them have lived up to their top-five billing. 
When asked for his thoughts on the extension, Wallace sounded grateful to have some job security with his 7th NBA team:
“It’s always good to get a contract,” Wallace said after a pre-draft workout Sunday. “My family and I are very happy here in Memphis. We love this city, love to be here a long time running. And the team made real strides last year.”

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.