The Allen Iverson Watch is back on for the Grizzlies, announced by Iverson himself via this Twitter post yesterday:
Well I am about to begin another workout session. Agent informed me that Memphis made us an offer on yesterday. Stay tuned.9:03 AM Aug 26th from web
This was followed up yesterday afternoon with this:
Memphis is a place that I would love to play. The Grizzlies have good young players with a great upside. I love the city of Memphis too.about 17 hours ago from web
I would lead by example. I could show how important it is to work hard everyday, play the game the right way, & just like it's your last!about 17 hours ago from web
Grizzlies brass has confirmed ongoing interest in Iverson, interest that seems the be clearly emanating from the owner's box, where Georgetown alum Michael Heisley seems intrigued by Iverson's box-office potential and not particularly concerned about what his basketball people think.
The Deal: The Grizzlies essentially took on the $3.6 million contract of center Steven Hunter from the Nuggets in exchange for a first-round pick in 2010, with the Nuggets covering part of Hunter's salary in "cash considerations." The Nuggets save money via reduced luxury tax burden and the Grizzlies now have three first-round picks in what is projected to be a good 2010 draft. The Grizzlies have gotten grief for all of their recent cash-considerations deals, including, occasionally, from me, but if the team wasn't going to use that cap space to sign a significant player, then this was a pretty good use of it even though the team has no use for Hunter.
The Vet Guard: The Hunter acquisition brings the team's roster to 13 players, which is the minimum, but I've been told that the team is highly likely to carry 14 players and it looks like a veteran guard of some sort is likely to be signed for that 14th slot. Though Allen Iverson seems unlikely to be signed by the Grizzlies at this point, until he signs somewhere else he probably can't be ruled out. Three more likely names mentioned by the Commercial Appeal today: Jamal Tinsley, Flip Murray, and Tarence Kinsey.
The NBA released its schedule today. You can check out the Grizzlies schedule here.
Nothing too surprising: Back-to-back sets have gone from 22 last season to 20 this season. Friday/Saturday homes games (which help attendance) have remained even at 20. There are more long road trips this season, including two five-game road swings in the first month, and fewer long home stands.
The Grizzlies open the season Wednesday, October 28th with a home game against the Detroit Pistons. The Martin Luther King Day match-up — again the lone nationally televised game — is Monday, January 18th against the Phoenix Suns.
On a generally unrelated note, I'm heading out in the morning for vacation, a lengthy and much-anticipated family road trip in which internet access will be both intermittent and unwanted. If there's major news on the Griz front and I have the time and opportunity, I might chime in. But, for the most part, this space will be dormant for the next week and a half.