Disclosure: I'm a white guy.
I would love to see AI and Z-Bo on this team. But, I have to admit they're both in the top 20 (in Zack's case top 2 or 3) "difficult" personalities in the league today. With AI it's usually just a "me first" thing, which is fine with me. We need more of that. But, Z has seemed to actively try to screw up teams - weed, who cares - punching teammates and trashing coaches is more of a problem. I'm hopeful the past is the past and Z will be happy and productive here - he's certainly an upgrade in talent - but it's hard to ignore that track record.
So Chris, what would you say are the real reasons we're not looking at Rubio here?
I hope it's not that silly notion that he and Conley can't "coexist." Rubio is nowhere near ready to play fulltime, so he'd be a 20 min a night player for a couple years anyway.
I'd rather take the risk that he stays in spain just to show that we can't get pushed around, b/c it's going to happen every year until we're fully turned around, which ain't happening in the immediate future.
We should be taking the best talent available, whether b/c that player will contribute to our team or b/c he will be a better asset for future trades. Thabeet is not the best talent and he is not nearly as attractive as trade bait as Rubio.
Y'all are wrong about Hansbrough. He's a tool, for sure, but he'll be a solid pro. Madsen take two? You obviously read that somewhere and have been parrotting it- Madsen averaged 10 pts in college - Hansbrough was a dominant player in one of the best conferences in NCAA for four years. Also a stiff? You should look at his measurements/results from the combine before you speak about that - he actually tested out as more athletic than just about every other 4 in the draft.
As for Battier & Conley, Conley was a gimme - there was no other choice in that draft. And Battier for Gay looked great early, but it's looking like a pretty even trade at this point and starting to tilt the other way. Battier would be more valuable on this team than Gay is.
Anyway you are right that Wallace shouldn't be blamed for West's mistakes, but no one can argue that the overall managment of the team over the past 4 years has been so bad that top rookies (let alone proven vets) do not want to play here. Players are literally willing to give up multiple millions of dollars to go elsewhere, which is even crazier considering those dollars go way farther in Memphis than most other NBA cities and there's no state income tax. Whether you admit it or not, we've earned our reputation as a second (third?) tier organization.
By Richard Alley
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