Allen Iverson has agreed to a $3.5 million dollar deal with the Grizzlies. My last post was sort me being an AI apologist, but I'm serious when I say that the Grizzlies will be a fringe playoff team next year. On top of that, it will bring the Grizzlies out of their financial slump and the owner Michael Heisley will be able to recover some financial loss he has suffered over the years from the team. There are two reasons I love this deal for the Grizzlies.
The first reason this deal is awesome is because the Grizzlies get a player that made about $21mil last year with the Pistons and Nuggets for 1/7 of that price. He still has some of what allowed him to be one of the best players in the NBA at one point. Here is the best part about the deal for the Grizzlies. They get some offensive production with veteran experience who plays a very similar game to the Grizzlies' up-and-coming star, OJ Mayo. AI will undoubtedly rub off on Mayo and that can only help Mayo. One of the things that people may be worried about AI being the mentor to AI will be the lack of work ethic that has followed AI throughout his career. Ever since Mayo came into the league, one of the highest praises of Mayo was his relentless dedication to working out and putting in the effort to make his game better. Mixing AI's skills into OJ's game will make OJ a better player in the end. The negative characte influence, if any, will come from Zach Randolph, not AI.
The second reason I like this move is for Memphis' balance sheet. AI is going to be a huge draw. This is a Grizzlies team that was losing about $300,000 a game last season. AI is the biggest name player to ever come to the Memphis Grizzlies. Huge for the franchise and the fans in Memphis. If you think about it, the Grizzlies have a really exciting team. A team with a very strong core of talent. All of their current starters, not including AI, average about 11ppg or more. They have a young core and if Zach Randolph can get his act together and play something close to defense, the Grizzlies will be an improved team. If Randolph decides he still doesn't want to play defense, the Grizzlies have the shot blockers of Marc Gasol and Hasheem Thabeet who should be a dynamic inside duo. The Grizzlies have an extraordinarily fast back court with the trio of Mike Conley, OJ Mayo, and Allen Iverson. That is going to be tough for defenses to prepare for. Lets just stay on the safe side for now and predict that the Grizzlies have improved 7 games from last season with Allen Iverson and will finish 10th in the Western Conference while being a real competitor for the 8th spot the entire year. They have a lot of weapons, so lets not count this team out.
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