GrizzBag!!!!! July 2, 2012.


Welcome to GrizzBag, Memphis Grizzlies fans. I know you’ve missed us last Friday and maybe you thought I forgot about GrizzBag this week, but instead I put out this gem of an article and before I knew it, I was headed home to start a busy weekend. Between being involved with a wedding party, working on my car and packing all of my possessions up for a move, my weekend was shot.

But I do love writing GrizzBag, so here is my two-week old offering. On top of that, it was a big weekend with the off-season officially beginning with free agency opening on Sunday. So let’s see what you all had to say about the Grizzlies’ potential moves.


Why did the Grizzlies not extend the Qualifying Offer to O.J. Mayo? They lost some flexibility and almost definitely won’t keep him now where they had a chance to before. Who’s running this team? Why does Michael Heisley hate Memphis?

Whoa, one question at a time please. Don’t hurt yourself.

The Grizzlies would have had to offer Mayo a Qualifying Offer that was worth about $7 million. Now, that’s a lot of money and even more so in this new CBA, but on a one-year deal, it wouldn’t have been so bad except for the fact that the Grizzlies would have been right up against paying the luxury tax, which they simply can’t afford.

The Grizzlies still have the right to go over the cap to sign Mayo since they retain his Bird Rights. I don’t know what Mayo and the front office talked about, but maybe both sides felt like it was time to move on from the other one. In a lot of ways, the Grizzlies need to think about life after Mayo and have to look down the line at their core getting incremental raises in the next three years and a potential extension for Tony Allen who’s entering the final season of his contract. The fans love O.J. Mayo and would have very much liked to have seen him back with the Grizzlies, but if Tony Allen had been allowed to leave for any reason there would have been blood. Most of all on this site.

For Juice, I think he simply hated playing for Lionel Hollins. I know I have taken my fair share of shots at Hollins over these past few months and some may not have even been deserved, but it’s no secret that his and Mayo’s relationship was always kind of rocky. Mayo is a starting caliber shooting guard in the today’s NBA (even if he thinks he’s a point guard.) When he agreed to come off the bench during the 2010-2011, that told me a lot about O.J. Mayo’s character. He really did want the team to do well and put that above his own interests.

Remember, NBA rookies are still paid pretty well, but not as well as they were in the late 1990’s. This contract that Mayo signs in the next few days will be his first “big” deal and while he still did a good job in his role as Memphis’ sixth man, his value could have spiked more if he played 35 minutes a night and averaged 18 or so points per game. He left that on the table.

I just hope Mayo doesn’t end up in the Western Conference and torches the Grizzlies for the next eight years because I think he’s the type of guy that would absolutely take Hollins’ actions against him and destroy Memphis every time he sees them. He’s just a competitive dude.

I actually think the Nets sign Mayo, especially after reading reports that they’re interested in acquiring Joe Johnson. Doesn’t Mayo do a lot of what Johnson does at maybe less than half of his price?

What do you think about Tony Wroten Jr.?

The more I read about him the more I like him. If he’s really a capable combo guard then it’s even better.

In that scenario, he can relieve Conley and play with Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph/Speights/Arthur and Marc Gasol/Speights. There will be more than enough scoring there and if you replace Gay with Pondexter, then that really helps matters.

When Allen needs to go to the bench, you can have Wroten play the 2 and give you some much-needed size there as well. With Conley and Gay on the floor as starters, then spacing shouldn’t be a problem either, as both are capable of hitting the three-pointer.

I also like that everyone has him as a potential defensive ace. He seems like a Grit ‘N Grind type of player that Tony Allen will love and learning from Allen can only be good for his career. If he ever is able to hit just 30% of his threes, then this will be viewed as a great first-round pick. Almost as good as picking Hasheem Thabeet with the second pick of the second round. Wait, he was a first-rounder?

RAY ALLEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I actually submitted this one but I have to admit, I was quite excited when I saw that the Grizzlies had actually offered the full Mid-Level Exception to the greatest three-point shooter in the NBA history.

Look, I shouldn’t have to sell you on the prospect of having Ray Allen on your team but in case you forgot, the Grizzlies were last in the league in three-pointers made this past season. That was the second year in a row that they earned that honor. Ray Allen hits the three with great frequency.It seems like a match made in Heaven.

If you recall, the Grizzlies and Celtics discussed an O.J. Mayo/Ray Allen swap at the trade deadline this past season, but it wasn’t finalized. If the Grizzlies let Mayo walk to sign Ray Allen, would anyone be terribly upset? Sure, Mayo is much younger and the team that was together last year was quite good, but they still lost in the first round. If the Grizzlies had Ray Allen rather than Mayo against the Clippers, they probably win that series as Mayo struggled to one of his worst seven game stretches in his pro career. Despite being injured for most of the playoffs, Allen still contributed as helped the Celtics reach the conference finals once again.

The downside to Allen is age and injuries. He has stayed pretty healthy in his career, all things considered, but when you age your body tends to break down. There’s no stopping Father Time when he picks you out and if Allen isn’t meant to play 82 NBA games every year, there’s really nothing that can be done.

However, if the Grizzlies are smart enough to limit his minutes and keep him fresh going into the playoffs next year, I like a team led by Ray Allen, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley Jr., and Marc Gasol on it. I like that a lot in fact.

That said, Allen will end up back in Boston. They probably win the Eastern Conference this season if Allen isn’t banged up and they already have Kevin Garnett back in the fold. Allen will return for the same money the Grizzlies offered (maybe a little more) and everyone will forget that the Grizzlies were ever at the table with the greatest shooter in NBA history.

That said, if the Grizzlies can come to terms with Jason Terry? That may be even better. The Mavericks don’t seem too eager to sign their sixth man specialist and the Grizzlies know as well as anybody what he brings to the table.

This has been another GrizzBag!!!! Keep sending your questions or comments to me because I do read them all. I can be reached at:, on Twitter-  @bealestreetbear or on Facebook- .