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Will Memphis Keep Its Core?

From Forbes Asia Magazine (Forbes.com):

…Heisley began taking matters into his own hands, with mostly disastrous results. He ordered the payroll to be slashed and ran off President Andrew Dolich, who had built a solid initial season ticket base. Respected General Manager Jerry West, a Hall of Fame former player who had put together the Grizzlies playoff roster, walked away, too. By 2006 season ticket sales had dropped from 11,000 to 9,000, and the club’s payroll fell into the NBA’s bottom five.

The good news for Memphis is its promising young talent: Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo and the ever improving Marc Gasol. But fans can’t count on much help arriving soon. Heisley says he plans to keep the payroll under $50 million, which would keep the Grizzlies near the bottom of the league.

$50 million? Do the math.

Zach Randolph. Rudy Gay. OJ Mayo. Marc Gasol. Mike Conley.

Lots of expiring contracts coming up over the next two years. And, yeah, it’s given that the new CBA is going to shuffle things up a bit – smaller dollars, shorter terms – but these guys are STILL going to demand something in the neighborhood of $10 million a year (okay, maybe not Conley). And Rudy’s already turned that down.

For the Grizzlies to field a competitive team, they’re going to need a few players behind those guys. And you have to pay for them. (It’s just not going to happen with Quinton Ross.) For the Grizz to keep their payroll at Heisley’s desired level ($50 mil) – they are going to need to pick and choose from this group to move forward.

If this is the line? Who will they choose, and what will they do to move the others?


January 20, 2010 - Posted by | Grizzlies, NBA

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