Griz Brass Keeps Low Profile -- Management Staying Mum as Uncertainty Swirls around Team

By Tillery, Ronald | The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), January 14, 2013 | Go to article overview

Griz Brass Keeps Low Profile -- Management Staying Mum as Uncertainty Swirls around Team


Tillery, Ronald, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


There is plenty of talk about the Grizzlies and by the Grizzlies these days as it relates to the immediate future of key players and head coach Lionel Hollins.

However, members of the team's new ownership group and front office continue to remain quiet at least publicly.

Griz CEO Jason Levien declined to comment when asked recently about persistent reports that the team is shopping Rudy Gay and gauging the value of other core players such as Zach Randolph.

It's true that the franchise's mode of operation is now predicated on a delicate and tricky task of trying to sustain winning while addressing financial concerns.

It is true that Griz brass has spoken to every team in the NBA about their roster over the past month. That league tour by the team's new management has produced daily rumors about possible deals, most of which involve Gay.

It's also true that the Griz have shown no desire to simply give away their top talent, according to sources with knowledge of the team's mild trade discussions. Although Levien has chosen not to respond publicly to the rampant speculation, he has talked to Gay and his representative.

According to a person with knowledge of those conversations, Gay is likely to remain a Grizzly through the end of this season. The message to Gay at the moment is that if he is dealt by the league's Feb. 21 trade deadline, then the Griz will have been offered a no- brainer scenario.

For example, the Griz have entertained the Washington Wizards' offer for Gay. The crux of that exchange would have the Griz receiving rookie shooting guard Bradley Beal in a larger package. The proposals for Randolph have been even weaker.

None of the potential deals has merit because they aren't believed to be strong enough to keep the Griz on their current pace.

Memphis (24-11) stands fourth in the Western Conference standings. The Griz are just two games behind San Antonio for the Southwest Division lead and 3 games behind Oklahoma City for the West's top spot.

Gay and Randolph are the Grizzlies' highest-paid players. Each will earn about $16.5 million this season and both players are due more than $17 million for the 2013-14 campaign. …

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