Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace made clear that firing David Fizdale was about optimizing the present.
Wallace, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
“We have no intention to trade Marc,” Wallace told ESPN when asked if the franchise might consider dealing the 32-year-old big man. “We never seriously considered that at all. We never placed any calls to any teams in that regard. So that’s not happening.
“It’s not just Marc that this whole equation is about. It’s also Mike Conley, when he comes back. We’ve got two guys among the elite in the league at their respective positions that are still very much in their window with an awful lot of tread left on their tires.”
File this under: What else is he supposed to say? Even if the Grizzlies were looking to trade Gasol and/or Conley, announcing it would only reduce leverage.
That’s probably a mistake, though.
Gasol is 32 and has shown signs of decline. Conley is 30 and can’t stay healthy. With a weak supporting cast, the Grizzlies need both remain competitive. Gasol has shown he can’t do it alone, and I doubt Conley could, either.
There’s no sin in moderate goals, and with the right breaks, Memphis can sneak into the playoffs with Gasol and Conley. Next year, too. But if that’s the best-case scenario, maybe it’s time jumpstart a rebuild.