Thursday, July 6, 2006
Battier’s trade sends shock
The pro basketball world was still reeling and regaling in the superb victory of the Miami Heat when the annual draft took center stage. Teams which had suffered the most during the just completed season, as usual, get to eat “high on the hog,” translating to getting first line picks among all the up and coming stars.
There was a real shocker close to home. The deal which took everyone in these parts by total surprise was the trade which the president of the Grizzlies made.
The hierarchy is still being grilled mightily about why such a transaction occurred. President West started the shock waves when he sent Shane Battier to the Houston Rockets.
The Griz didn’t have a high draft chance so they made a deal with the Rockets to take Battier and give up their number eight pick, a high flying 6’9” performer from the UConn.
It was a two-player deal. The Griz also reclaimed Stromile Swift. He was one season removed from Memphis. He exercised free agency status and went to the Houston Rockets. The Griz was stuck at the number 24 slot so they had to make some deals to get a high pick.
West came under fire for some remarks which he had made before the draft. He apologized on Thursday, saying that the utterings were done out of frustration.
How much the new faces (and old), will help the Griz in future campaigns are a matter of conjecture. Just remember that Memphis traded Jason Williams and James Posey to Miami. Both are wearing rings of the highest kind now.
We can’t possibly know the depth that some of these trades take before they are brought to light, but we can be sure that most are discussed well in advance of the draft. The fans are already voicing displeasure with the departure of Battier. The players of these deals can’t discuss any terms until July 14.
The coaching carousel has not begun to make noise yet; however there is one high profile change which must be told. It was reported earlier about the trouble the New York Knicks were having.
Well, they seemed to have resolved some of them by making Isiah Thomas the new mentor. For the last couple years, Thomas has been running the organization from an executive chair; now he must produce on the sideline. Thomas claims that he is up to it.
Now the Knicks have just one major hurdle left: What to do about Larry Brown and his $40 million claim.
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