Grizzlies Owner Cuts Scouting Staff From Five to Nothing
It's an unbelievable concession, even in this economy. (Insert sad trombone sound.) The Bobcats declining to assemble a summer league squad -- that's unnerving. A team like the Grizzlies decided to detonate the entire scouting staff with the playoffs nowhere in sight? That's abominable.
Of course, given that a real estate mogul, team owner Michael Heisley, makes all the basketball decisions, maybe it's just as well.
Calkins also surmises in his Sunday column that Heisley and Heisley alone decided Hakim Warrick wouldn't be a proper fit going forward. Milwaukee, a cost-containing team in its own right, immediately saw fit to give Warrick the salary Memphis revoked. The basketball side of the operation in Memphis loved Warrick, and saw him as an important bench scorer next season. Heisley saw him as a $3 million paycheck he didn't really want to sign. So Warrick became an unrestricted free agent immediately.
Defenders of Heisley might point to Zach Randolph as an example of the team being willing to pay for talent. Except that without the Randolph trade (the Grizz sent Quentin Richardson's $8.7 million contract to L.A. for $16 million of Z-Bo) the Grizzlies would not have reached the league's minimum salary without signing a high-priced free agent. The collective bargaining agreement requires that teams spend at least 75% of the salary cap level on payroll. For 2009-10, that's just shy of $44 million. Lo! the Randolph trade put Memphis just above $44 million in salary.
This is all to say it's a shame what Heisley is doing to this team, and most importantly, the fans.