Memphis is the five seed in the West, a good team who just got Zach Randolph back in the lineup after missing most of the season with a knee injury. This is a team that knocked the Spurs out of the playoffs and pushed the Thunder hard last year — and is now better. A potential real threat in the West.
So why not bring in Gilbert Arenas and see how that goes?
That is just what the Grizzlies are doing, reports the Commercial Appeal.
Free agent guard Gilbert Arenas worked out for the Grizzlies this morning and the team is preparing to sign him to a deal for the rest of this season, according to sources close to the process.
Arenas appeared slender and shot the ball well during the workout. He is scheduled to take a physical this afternoon. All that would remain is for Arenas to pass the physical and agree to a prorated veteran’s minimum contract requiring the Griz to pay about $300,000.
Arenas is not with a team because Orlando used its amnesty clause on him before the season started.
Clearly the Grizzlies are not comfortable with a backup point guard of Jeremy Pargo or Josh Selby heading into the post season.
All reports of Arenas’ workouts — both for the Grizzlies and other teams — is that he has lost weight and is moving pretty well. He said he had the Kobe Bryant procedure on his knees. Him passing the team physical is not a given.
Arenas was absolutely terrible playing for the Magic last season, shooting 34.4 percent on the year. He had a PER of 8.6, which would get a rookie sent to the D-League. And is defense was actually worse than his offense. He was better the first part of the season in Washington, to be fair, but he was not good in either place.
The question now is how this plays in a locker room that already has plenty of characters with Tony Allen and Zach Randolph.
On the court this seems a low risk move — if he doesn’t play you sit him behind Pargo — but if you’re a good team this is a potential chemistry gamble. Is that really worth it? Apparently it is to the Grizzlies.
The Spurs are counting on Danny Green to regain his top-flight “3&D” form this season and give them another defender and weapon when they go up against that potential juggernaut out West. And the Clippers, too.
But that comeback is getting off to a slow start, the team announced Friday.
This likely means a little more run for Manu Ginobili and Kevin Martin to start the season, plus some funky lineups from Gregg Popovich.
Green played great defense last season but struggled from three (where 60 percent of his attempts are taken). Green shot 33.2 percent from deep on the season, which is well below his career average of 40.3 percent (and last year’s down numbers were buoyed by a red-hot January, he was much worse the rest of the season).
It’s something for Spurs fans to monitor, they need to get his legs right before his shot can return.
The NBA’s award season seems more wide open than ever.
Ben Simmons was going to enter the season as the heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year, but with him out injured the door is flung open to a lot of players. Coach of the Year is always a game of “which coach exceeds expectations.” Even MVP seems more open with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant — the award winners the past three seasons — teamed up in the Bay Area.
In this latest PBT Extra I throw out my predictions for the awards, but let’s get on with the games next week and see who earns them.
During the ProBasketballTalk podcast with Sixers coach Brett Brown, you could hear the frustration in his voice. He has all these talented young front line players — Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, Jahlil Okafor — but he can’t begin to figure out how they all fit together if he can’t get them on the court at the same time.
That problem just got worse.
The Sixers announced that Nerlens Noel will miss time following surgery to deal with soreness in his left knee. Here is the word from the press release itself:
During the normal course of evaluation and treatment for his left adductor strain, which was identified on October 6, Noel reported localized soreness in his left knee. After consulting with multiple specialists, the source of the soreness was identified as inflamed plica. Noel has elected to address the injury via a minor surgical procedure in the coming days.
The team gives no timeline for Noel’s return. Soreness from the plica — a band of tissue around the knee that is not important following birth — happens in some players and can be fixed by an arthroscopic surgery that removes the area being irritated. While the surgery is minor, it usually takes around six weeks to bounce back from this.
That likely means a little more run for Jahlil Okafor (just coming back from an injury of his own) and Richaun Holmes. But it’s just another injury setback for a Sixers team plagued by them.
The Sixers also announced that Jerryd Bayless will not have surgery on his wrist, but will remain out and be evaluated in two weeks.
This was flat out incredible.
After a back-and-forth, even series between the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks, it came down to the final seconds (although maybe it shouldn’t have, the WNBA admitted Friday the referees missed a call with 1:14 left, giving the Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike a bucket on a shot after the shot clock expired).
The biggest stars took over at the end, as you can see in the video above: L.A.’s Candace Parker drives and scores with 19 seconds left putting the Sparks up 75-74; Minnesota responded with a Maya Moore jumper to take the lead back, then it came down to Ogwumike (the WNBA’s 2016 MVP) getting the ball after a block by Sylvia Fowles and following it up with a fadeaway bucket that gave Los Angeles the title.
Congrats to Candace Parker on the win, after how she’s been overlooked on the awards circuit in the WNBA this season, this is some sweet revenge.