The Grizzlies have one of the NBA’s best assets in the No. 4 pick in the upcoming draft.
They also have one of the NBA’s worst assets in Chandler Parsons, the injury-prone forward who has two years and $49,209,769 remaining on his contract.
What if Memphis combined both those?
Michael Scotto of The Athletic:
The Memphis Grizzlies have gauged the trade market on a package of Chandler Parsons and the No. 4 overall pick, league sources told The Athletic.
The No. 4 pick’s value is probably more positive than Parsons’ value is negative. Rebuilding teams with cap space like the Hawks and Bulls would likely jump at paying Parsons if it meant landing such a high pick.
But would anyone send the Grizzlies enough value to bridge the gap? Depends what they’re looking for.
Robert Pera just completed an expensive buys-sell process to keep control of the team. He might want to unload salary. It’d be a real shame for Memphis fans if that meant sacrificing the No. 4 pick, though.
The Grizzlies – partially by their own choosing, partially by their contracts – are pretty locked into a Marc Gasol–Mike Conley core. Dumping Parsons wouldn’t create a massive amount of flexibility to upgrade the roster. It’d just cost whatever sweetener, No. 4 pick or otherwise, is necessary to dump his contract.
It can be tough to tell when a team is just exploring its options. Memphis should want to know the value of Parsons and the No. 4 pick, as it’s helpful to know the value of all assets.
But the possibility the Grizzlies would use the No. 4 pick to rid itself of Parsons – rather than use it to add a top prospect – is concerning.
Raptors’ GM Masai Ujiri is a bigger man than most.
Among the numerous insider and ridiculous things Tweeted out through burner accounts linked to then Sixers’ GM Bryan Colangelo — an investigation by the team found Colangelo’s wife Barbara Bottini ran the accounts, allegedly without Colangelo’s knowledge — were shots at Ujiri. Colangelo had been the GM of the Raptors, Ujiri took over after him and remains revered by the fan base in a way Colangelo never was. That led to some jealous Tweets.
Ujiri is ignoring those comments and mostly just feels bad for his friend Colangelo, who lost his job.
Michael Scotto of The Athletic spoke to Ujiri, who was nothing but sympathetic to Colangelo.
“To me, my thoughts are with Bryan and his family, honestly,” Ujiri told The Athletic. “There’s nothing said about me there, there was not one inch of it that made me think otherwise. He’s a good friend of mine. I totally understand the situation, and I sympathize with Bryan. In my humble opinion, it was tough for me to see him lose his job. It was a mistake, and I’ve spoken to Bryan. We continue to speak continuously, and he’s one of the better persons in this job, and my dream and my hope is a good person like that gets back in the game somewhere, somehow. Bryan Colangelo has 100 percent of my support, and it’s emotional for me because he’s one of my mentors, he gave me a chance, and hopefully, he can be forgiven. Even though I don’t know, I’m not sure of details, but I hope he’s forgiven. We can all make mistakes.”
Classy. A lesser man would have reveled in the downfall of someone tied to those kinds of shots at him. That’s not who Ujiri is.
I don’t know if he — or we — will ever get to see Colangelo work in an NBA front office again, though.
The Orlando Magic have been looking for their next head coach — after letting go of Frank Vogel right after season ended — while Mike Budenholzer (Bucks), David Fizdale (Knicks), Lloyd Pierce (Hawks), James Borrego (Hornets), and Igor Kokoskov (Suns) all got jobs (plus J.B. Bickerstaff had the interim title taken away in Memphis).
Not much news had leaked out of Orlando through all of that process, outside of interest in University of Houston coach Kelvin Sampson and an interview this week with former Charlotte coach Steve Clifford.
Then came a report from Michael Scotto of The Athletic that the Magic had interest in Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.
It didn’t take long for people close to Izzo to shoot that down.
A few points of clarification here. First, plenty of NBA front office executives have thought Izzo would make a great NBA coach and have reached out with feelers over the years. I have no doubt the Magic were interested, and may well have reached out (directly or through back channels) to gauge interest. That’s what smart organizations do.
At this point in his career, at age 63, it’s hard to imagine Izzo making the leap to the NBA — and if he does it will be for a Godfather offer (in both money and roster). With all due respect to Aaron Gordon, that’s not Orlando. Never say never, but like Mike Krzyzewski and others who could have made the leap to the NBA, at this point Izzo seems a college lifer. He’s in one of the best jobs in the land, a place where he is revered and respected, and he’s not likely to change that up now.
You can’t really blame him. It’s hard to leave a good job — just ask Jay Wright. But with Izzo, NBA teams will still ask occasionally, just to make sure.
Last February, wanting the Wizards’ first-round pick, the Nets agreed to trade Bojan Bogdanovic, take Andrew Nicholson’s toxic contract and accept take Marcus Thornton so Washington could stay under the roster limit.
There was just one apparent catch: The Wizards had to take Chris McCullough.
McCullough, the No. 29 pick in the 2015 draft, didn’t play much in Brooklyn – on a bad team woefully short on young talent. He has played even less in Washington.
Now, his contract will run out after this season.
Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders:
McCullough would have earned $2,243,326 next season if his option had been exercised.
He’s just 22, and he was athletic at least before hurting his ACL his final year at Syracuse. It’s not too late for McCullough, but he hasn’t displayed nearly enough feel for the game to warrant a guaranteed NBA salary – especially above the minimum.
The Knicks are bringing in another veteran point guard to camp, just to have a look.
There had been reports before they had interest in veteran Jarrett Jack, and he has convinced them his knees are healthy enough to deserve a shot. Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders was first with the story.
Ian Begley of ESPN added:
The New York Knicks and Jarrett Jack are expected to finalize their agreement on Friday or early next week, sources told ESPN. Jack is the second veteran point guard to join New York, which also inked Ramon Sessions earlier this summer. GM Scott Perry had said that he’d like to have veterans to help Rookie Frank Ntilikina.
Jack was a respectable point guard off the bench a couple of seasons ago, but has played just 40 games over the past two seasons due to knee injuries. He’s had multiple surgeries, the latest of which was last March after he had gotten a 10-day contract with the Pelicans. He’s going to have to prove he is healthy, first.
On paper heading into the season, the Knicks have one of the worst backcourts in the NBA. There is the veteran Ramon Sessions, rookie Frank Ntilikina, and the man they dramatically overpaid Ron Baker, and in a pinch Chasson Randle (his salary is not guaranteed until the first day of training camp, Sept. 26). A healthy Jack could get minutes in that group, but they have him on a non-guaranteed deal for a reason.