March 15, 2012
In a predictable, logical and thoroughly underwhelming move, the Memphis Grizzlies made the second trade of deadline week, sending reserve forward Sam Young to the Philadelphia 76ers in return for nothing more than the draft rights to Ricky Sanchez, whom you’ve probably never heard of.
Memphis had two things to do this deadline: buy some players, and sell some players. Their good but not elite team needed to acquire an extra ball handler, and much improve its three point shooting, while also somehow dodging the luxury tax threshold they currently reside just over.
This trade only alleviates one of those three needs. Apparently, Gilbert Arenas will fix the others.
The Sixers were able to assume Young’s post-incentives $1,184,750 salary on account of the Marreese Speights trade exception, which had been created in an earlier trade with Memphis. Essentially, therefore, this trade amends and concludes that one, the Grizzlies trading Young and Xavier Henry for a rental of Speights.
This is an odd way to conclude the Sam Young era in Memphis. This time last year, in light of the injury to Rudy Gay, Young was a valuable starter and a key, if flawed, cog in their Cinderella playoff victory over the Spurs. His jumpshot lacked three-point range, he broke plays, played with his head down, and his team defense was atrocious, yet the combination of his humiliatingly effective shot fake and sheer determination gave the Grizzlies a much needed offensive option. When nothing else was going on, Young would put his head down and go for it, like a much older looking Corey Maggette, which worked better than it may sound. And he always played hard.
This year, however, with Gay’s return to health, Young’s lack of improvement to his game, and the acquisition of Quincy Pondexter (who provides the defense and intangibles that Young just doesn’t), Sam wasn’t in the rotation, playing only 21 games all season, 13 of which were in January. He likely won’t be in the Sixers rotation, either.
March 13, 2012
Atlanta’s bizarre insistence on keeping Jerry Stackhouse all year has pushed them into the tax territory, despite sorely needing better point guard play and size to offset the loss of/compliment a healthy Al Horford. Meanwhile, Memphis also has on-court needs to fill as Jeremy Pargo has struggled mightily at backup point guard and the team also ranks amongst the league’s worst in three point shooting percentage.
The Grizzlies are good, but they are built weirdly. Huge amounts of money are invested in a frontcourt that is not up for sale, point guard Mike Conley also pulls in an entirely justified $8 million a year, and his backcourt teammate Tony Allen is too valuable to be expendable (while also being a large part of why the team has shooting problems). In terms of contracts for trade assets, they have scant little, particularly when they also need to be concurrently dumping salary. The perennially available O.J. Mayo is perennially available, and perennially sought over, but he’s also the team’s only shooter, even if he is also their only significant trade asset. The formerly valuable Sam Young is now out of the rotation due to his defensive rotations. A salary dump of him would sort out the luxury tax issue, but Memphis needs to be buying as well.
August 12, 2010
Unguaranteed or partially guaranteed final seasons are becoming quite the trend in the NBA, and they are quickly replacing team options. In fact, there are only 11 team options in the entire league, belonging to Chase Budinger, Jermaine Taylor, Andrew Bynum, Sam Young, Andres Nocioni, Hakim Warrick, Goran Dragic, Pooh Jeter, Francisco Garcia, Solomon Alabi and C.J. Miles. In contrast, there are so many partially or fully unguaranteed contracts in future years that I can't be bothered to go through and list them all. And considering the length of this post, and all the things I could be bothered to do, that should signify something.
December 5, 2009
(Also, the pick Houston gave to Memphis to save this $5.6 million was the #36, which Memphis then used to draft Sam Young. Houston later bought the #32 from Washington for $2.5 million. So in a way, they traded a player on their inactive list in exchange for moving up 4 spots and gaining $3.1 million. Not bad work.)