I watched the media availability Chris Wallace gave on Friday and came to one obvious conclusion.
I’m a huge hypocrite.
I’ve complained that everyone in town treats Wallace with kid gloves.
I’ve complained that the Tigers get held to a higher standard than the Grizzlies.
I’ve theorized that Wallace’s failures get ignored because he’s so likable.
Perhaps all those things are true.
But on Friday, while watching Wallace explain the Grizzlies rationale for not trading Tyreke Evans, I found myself fully bought in to what he was selling.
The Grizzlies thought process, according to Wallace, was actually pretty straightforward: the trade offers that came in for Tyreke Evans were simply outweighed by the possibility that he might re-sign with the Grizzlies in the off-season, a possibility that itself becomes more likely if the franchise keeps him around in the meantime.
Wallace cited Evans’ love for the city, his history with the Tigers, and how his brief stint with the Grizzlies represents the best period of his tumultuous NBA career.
He cited the human element.
Did I mention that Wallace is a likable guy?
Tank & Tinker
So the Grizzlies objective, rather than a complete rebuild, is to tank and tinker their way back to the playoffs.
That’s right – the Grizzlies want to lose enough to get a lottery pick – but also keep their best assets in hopes of a quick rebuild.
The plan is to keep Mike Conley on the shelf, and use Marc Gasol and Evans sparingly from here on out.
Then, after the season, the franchise will try to re-sign Evans, draft a lottery pick that can contribute immediately and surround that group with various other young players and spare parts.
Oh – and also hope that Chandler Parsons becomes a miracle of modern science.
It’s clear that Wallace hopes that all of this will result in a resurgent team capable of playoff contention.
Will it all work?
I put the odds at around 25%, maybe less.
But even at 25%, what are the other options?
Nobody seems to think a prolonged rebuild can work in Memphis at this time.
So why not try the tank and tinker approach?
As much as I really do think the Grizzlies too often get a pass from Memphians – I’m again inclined to give them one in this instance.
Yep – I’m a giant hypocrite.