Sunday, December 11, 2011

Report: Grizzlies and Pacers Revisiting Mayo Deal

Posted By on Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 1:50 PM

ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that the Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers are revisiting last season's aborted trade that would have sent O.J. Mayo to Indiana for Pacers' big man Josh McRoberts.

I don't have time to go into much detail right now on what is, at this point, only a trade rumor, but my quick take would be that this would be a risky move relative to the team's competitive chances this season: Mayo's best skill — outside shooting — is what this Grizzlies team needs most and he's almost certain to bounce back from his under-performance last season. Dealing Mayo now feels like selling low. On the other hand, given the make-up of the roster, it's difficult to envision Mayo remaining with the team beyond this season.

I could defend — and maybe even endorse — a Mayo-McRoberts trade given these parameters:

1. McRoberts comes on a multi-year contract at a low enough starting salary — $4 million max and preferably more like $2-$3 — that his addition helps stabilize the frontcourt depth, guard against Darrell Arthur's impending free agency, and gives the team an affordable supporting piece it can depend on for the next few years.

2. There's an extra asset involved. The previous McRoberts-Mayo deal had a first-round pick coming to the Grizzlies. Given that the values of the players involved hasn't changed significantly since the initial deal, one would hope that any new deal would also have the Grizzlies getting a pick.

3. The Grizzlies don't just hope a young guard — Sam Young, Xavier Henry, Josh Selby, Greivis Vasquez — makes a leap but instead uses the extra money this deal would likely free up to sign another shooter.

Stay tuned.

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