Scratching and Clawing: Saving the Grizzlies

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Scratching and Clawing: Saving the Grizzlies

Postby seaboh13 on Wed May 30, 2018 10:54 pm

Scratching and Clawing: Saving the Grizzlies.


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In late 2017, the Memphis Grizzlies were at a crossroads. Unbeknownst to anyone outside a select few, Robert Pera and the Grizzlies were deep in negotiations over ownership for the franchise. In November 2017, A buy-sell provision in the ownership agreement between Pera and minority owners Steve Kaplan and Daniel Straus was exercised. Both minority owners had the right to invoke the clause starting in late October, which allows one or both of them to set a new valuation for the franchise that sold for $377 million in 2012.

Either Kaplan and/or Straus had to buy out Pera, or Pera had to buy one or both of them out. SportsBusiness Daily reported last month that the team was valued at just over $1 billion for the buyout. Forbes valued the Grizzlies at $1.025 billion, 29th among the league's 30 teams, in February.

Kaplan and Straus initially submitted a joint bid that ended without a deal. The two then submitted separate bids, with Straus' bid the highest.

In one reality, Pera announced that he would match the bid and buy out Straus."I am committed to Memphis as an NBA market and as the home of the Grizzlies," Pera wrote. "We recognize that this has been a trying season for you as fans. That serves to reinforce our dedication to building a successful NBA franchise."

In another reality, events unfolded differently … and the course of NBA history was forever changed....


January 5th, 2018

He checked his phone and glanced up at his boss, he had no idea what the latest deal could be. He’d been asked to travel with him to the FedExForum on this night, of all nights, when Memphis’ weather was being less than kind. They had just landed and were now waiting upstairs in the Forum. It was eerily dark and quiet so Ronnie kept his mouth shut; after all, he was just the personal assistant. He got paid really well not to ask questions but this seemed unusual. An empty building with only a few lights on.

Ronnie Michaels, his dark hair still a bit wet and matted from the all the rain at the airport, nodded. “It really was a nice flight, Mr. Aquilini”

Francesco Aquilini shot him a thousand-megawatt smile. “Damn straight it was. Well worth the investment in that plane.”

The moment lasted for mere seconds before the doors to the conference room burst open and the chiseled face of a man greeted them both. The man looked uneasy and stared at Ronnie before locking eyes with Aquilini “We agreed to bring no one else in on this.”

Aquilini's face remained stretched into a smile, though there didn’t seem to be much warmth behind it. “Robert, good to see you too.”

It was then that Ronnie realized who he was looking at: Robert Pera, the owner of the Grizzlies. The guy who had just retained controlling interest in the Grizzlies.

Pera ignored the smile and uttered. “I’m not making a deal with him in here.”

Aquilini cast a glance back at Ronnie and then shrugged at Pera “I trust him; I wouldn’t have given him the position otherwise. We’re here to negotiate, not hatch some top-secret plan.”

Pera's face scrunched up and he looked like he was going to walk out. He took a half-turn to the door before letting out a sigh. Shoulders slumping a little, he turned back around and walked to the conference room table. The large, circular glass table took up a lot of space in the room and made everything seem smaller.

Well, everything but Pera and Aquilini. The two billionaires seemed to loom over Ronnie. Pera took out a thick envelope from his pristine coat -- which didn’t look that wet at all -- and placed it on the table. He tapped on it with his right hand “Those are the final papers, everything we agreed to.”

Aquilini walked over, sat down, and opened the envelope. He started sifting through the papers, slowly at first and then picking up speed as he went. After he was finished with the last page, he jumped out of his chair and looked like a kid about to go to Disneyland. “It’s perfect.” He shot Pera a sly look. “But, I think your people added a few million to the final price.”

Pera combed his hair to the side, looking more uncomfortable with every passing second. “I want this to be over with. This entire thing has been a headache …I can't afford to keep this team on, but I don't want to lose face either...” He stared at the papers and then shook his head. “Francesco--”

Before he could finish the words, Aquilini had a pen in his hand and was quickly signing the papers. It took him only a minute before he was done. He set the pen on the table and slid it towards Pera. “Come on, Robert. Don’t back out on me now.”

Pera looked down at the papers and then back at Aquilini, "I'm going to be hated in Memphis for this", before finally picking up the pen and signing. He took longer and he looked less than thrilled, but when it was done, it was done. He set the pen down and then took a deep breath. “It’s your's.” He sounded relieved.

Aquilini nodded and Pera gathered up the papers, putting them back in the envelope. He extended his hand and Aquilini shook it excitedly. “We should go out and celebrate,” Aquilini suggested.

Pera shook his head. “I have other plans. I’ll get these papers to the league office in the morning … the sale will have to be approved, of course, but with the amount you paid I think there will be little issue.” He took a long glance at the window outside, where the storm was letting up, and nodded once. “I’ll see you around.” With that, Pera left the conference room.

Ronnie sat there for a long moment before working up the courage to ask, “What was all that about, sir?”

Aquilini’s chest puffed out and he stood tall. “I just bought the Memphis Grizzlies.”

Ronnie’s mouth hung open. Aquilini has done what? “But … you …” He couldn’t believe it. His boss was now the owner of the Grizzlies, it was incredible. Not only was it incredible, it was also unbelievable. “But, Pera just retained controlling interest of the team last week!” Ronnie found himself saying how happy he was -- not only for the fact he was now working under the owner of the Grizzlies, but also for the fact that Pera no longer owned the team.

Aquilini grinned broadly. “He has run into a bit of financial trouble, and he didn't want to lose face to the stock market.” Aquilini looked like he was about to burst and began to pace around the table, his arms moving almost as fast as his legs. “He lost money, more than he thought he would, and when Strauss and Kaplan trigged the buy/sell clause, that gave him an excellent opportunity to get out. But not the way everyone thought he would.”

Ronnie had been following the news for months on this, much like everyone else he knew. “But, sir, how in the hell did you convince Pera to sell to you?” Pera was a lifelong basketball fan, a billionaire egomaniac. Selling the Grizzlies was the biggest admission of failure in the man’s life, but he needed the money to save his business investments.

Aquilini stopped for a moment and shrugged. “I gave him 1.7 billion dollars; that’s 400 million over what he just bought the team for, and a business win, no matter how you look at it.” Almost as soon as Aquilini switched into business mode he switched back into the excited fan. “Ronnie, we’re on the cusp of something great here … I can feel it. I wanted this, an NBA franchise my family can call their own, a legacy for me, my children, and their grandchildren.” He stopped his pacing and stared outside the window, out into Memphis. “Think of it: we now own an NHL and NBA franchise. We truly are in the big leagues now.”

Ronnie stared out the window too and stood up in his seat. “Both teams?” he asked even though he didn’t want to. He was a nobody. A nothing. He had landed this job out of pity or mercy, he wasn’t sure which. He had graduated 8 years ago with a degree in Sports Science and Analytics. He had also earned numerous basketball coaching qualifications in his freetime and held positions within Basketball Ireland, Irelands National Basketball Governing Body. He didn't attend a big college-- it was actually quite small -- and it was after all in Ireland of all places. He coaches local league basketball for his son's team in Vancouver and has always been a sports fanatic.

It was only by fate or luck Aquilini chose him as his personal assistant, someone young enough who could keep up with him. Somebody who worked hard on a few minor projects for the Vancouver Canucks.

Now he was 33, making a decent wage but seemingly stuck being Aquilini’s personal assistant for life. He worked for him and he technically worked for the Aquilini Developments. Ronnie chose a career in the Canada over a career in Ireland. When recession hit in Ireland, a lot of young working Irish moved to Canada and Australia. Ronnie moved his young family over the Atlantic ocean and started fresh. His wife an elementary teacher, his 6 year old son just starting out in elementary school.

But everything he ever thought about himself and about his job the last 8 years went out the window a moment ago.

Aquilini turned around with a sly look in his eyes. “Ronnie, you’ve been loyal to me and the company for 8 years running. You’re the longest tenured personal assistant I’ve ever had.” He walked over to the table and placed his hands on it, his excitement tampered down into something Ronnie had rarely seen: somberness. “You’ve done everything I’ve asked of you, never once complaining, always tackling projects assigned with your best. It’s time you be rewarded for that.”

Ronnie felt his throat go dry. “Rewarded, sir?”

Aquilini nodded once. “I’m cleaning house. This team needs to be reassessed … this year is over for the Grizzlies, they are one of the worst teams in the league, even I can see that. We need to start planning for next year. I’m hiring a new GM and I’m going to see to it that you get a spot in his staff … you’re going to be working for this team and for me.” A small smile broke on his lips. “You’re a fast learner, Ronnie. There hasn’t been a project I’ve assigned to you that you haven’t excelled in. Hockey isn't your thing but everything I've asked you do for the Canucks you did it. Your untapped potential is just itching to get out, finding you the place to do that has been tough. You haven’t been my personal assistant all these years because you’re poor at your job; just the opposite, you’re too damned good. Anything I threw at it you adapted to pretty fast. I know you really care about the game of basketball too.”

Aquilini went on, unaware or uncaring of Ronnie’s stunned silence. “You need a challenge; something that’ll make you rise to the occasion and tap into the greatness I know you have.” He repeatedly tapped his index finger into his chest, over and over.

Aquilini walked around the table and heartily slapped Ronnie on the back. “You say ‘YES’! You’re passionate about basketball and sport, Ronnie I hear you cheer for the Raptors when they’re playing on TV, I see you take down notes during the game, I’ve heard legendary stories from your fellow staff members -- past and present -- about how you launch into analytical tangents on the team when they lose.”

Ronnie's face flushed. He was mad about the Raptors, everyone knew that … he couldn’t stop talking about them when he started. It was one of the reasons why everyone at the office came to him after big games; if they needed someone to break down why the Raptors won or lost, he was their man. Being a big Raptors fan was another reason he opted to move to Canada. “I … I didn’t realize it was that well known, sir.”

“It’s nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, be proud of it. Too many people go through life drowning in dullness, unwilling to let their passions show for fear of rejection.” He slapped him heartily on the back again. “You don’t hide your colors; the Raptors are part of you. But you might have to change your allegiances now! Its Grizzlies first, 2nd, 3rd and beyond.”

Ronnie took a deep breath. “Sir, it’s too much to ask of you. I’m not qualified to be anything in an NBA organization … I’m a fan, a dedicated fan but still a fan.”

“We’re all fans,” Aquilini countered. “I’m one too. Look at me!” He stepped back and threw out his arms wide. “I just bought the Grizzlies for 1.7 billion dollars! I’m a fan who paid twice as much as the last guy who bought the team and I’m not done spending money. But in order to grow we have something major to do with this franchise, We've got to bring it home.” He clapped his hands loudly against the sides of his legs. “Vancouver needs it Grizzlies back."

Ronnie felt lightheaded and he pulled out a chair from the conference table, collapsing into it. “Move the Grizzlies back to Vancouver?!”

"Yes that's the plan. I have an inside track with some colleagues of Adam Silver's and Vancouver is on the shortlist for possible expansion teams. The NBA are already thinking about Vancouver. I think we can get the Board of Governors to approve a relocation. We need to get the ball rolling on this one. Seattle are in the hunt for a team to purchase and we need to beat them to the punch with this move, it's unlikely they let two relocation's go through."

"There is a lot of work in relocating a team Mr Aquilini, and a lot of collateral damage." "Yes but Pera now has a giant target on his back. We ride off into the sunset!" Aquilini laughed loudly and shook his hand back, hard. “That’s it! All right, we’re going out to celebrate and talk strategy.” He hurriedly parted from Ronnie and headed to the door, his legs running almost. “There’s a lot to do and a lot to plan for.” He stopped at the doorway and turned to Ronnie a gleam in his eye. “Congratulations Mr. Michaels: you’ve just become my first hire.”
Last edited by seaboh13 on Thu May 31, 2018 7:16 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Platform Info

Postby seaboh13 on Wed May 30, 2018 11:15 pm

System/Game: PC/NBA 2K18
Rosters: TBD
Sliders: Custom
Quarter Length: 12 Minutes
Sim Quarter Length: 12 Minutes
Draft Class: bluejaybrandons Real 2018 Draft Class (Soon to be released)
Season Length: 82 Games
Playoff Format: 7-7-7-7
Injuries: On
Progressive Fatigue: On
Player Roles: On
Team Chemistry: On
CPU Trades: On
Trade Override: Off
Trade Approval: On
Control: 30 Teams

Welcome to my new franchise story.

I've had a few false starts with this style of franchise, had a good player driven story a few years ago after a good Milwaukee Bucks story. So this story will focus on the Memphis Grizzlies.
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Grizzlies sold again?!

Postby seaboh13 on Wed May 30, 2018 11:15 pm

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Robert Pera Agrees To Sell Memphis Grizzlies to Francesco Aquilini for $1.7 Billion


Memphis, TN -- NBA officials announced today that the Memhis Grizzlies have been sold to Francesco Aquilini

In a deal that underscores the huge success of the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies announced yesterday that controlling owner Robert Pera has sent a formal notice to the NBA that he will selling his controlling interest in the basketball team.

In November, the Athletic reported that "A buy-sell provision in the ownership agreement between Pera and minority owners Steve Kaplan and Daniel Straus was exercised last week. Both minority owners had the right to invoke the clause starting in late October, which allows one or both of them to set a new valuation for the franchise that sold for $377 million in 2012."

Either Kaplan and/or Straus had to buy out Pera, or Pera had to buy one or both of them out. SportsBusiness Daily reported last month that the team was valued at just over $1 billion for the buyout. Forbes valued the Grizzlies at $1.025 billion, 29th among the league's 30 teams, in February.

ESPN reported Kaplan and Straus initially submitted a joint bid that ended without a deal. The two then submitted separate bids, with Straus' bid the highest. After a waiting period, Pera announced Monday that he would match the bid and buy out Straus. What happens to Kaplan and his shares is unclear, according to ESPN. The $1.3 billion enterprise value of the Grizzlies, over three times what the current owners paid five years ago, is largely due to the NBA's soaring revenue.

One full week after Pera bought the controlling interest in the team, he has shockingly sold the team for $1.7 billion. It's amazing that Pera didn't just allow Strauss and Kaplan to buy him out, but the business world works in mysterious ways. Aquilini also is a majority owner in the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. There are a lot of questions to be asked and answered now with Aquilini in charge. The Grizzlies currently are bottom 5 in the standings with a 12-27 record after last nights loss to the Wizards in FedEx Forum. Mike Conley has been battling injuries, and with David Fizdale being fired, the franchise is in real turmoil. Its up to Francesco Aquilini to steady the ship here, and quickly.
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Adam Silvers Office

Postby seaboh13 on Thu May 31, 2018 6:52 am

Adam Silver's Office NBA HQ

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January 10th, 2018

It hadn't been a great few days. Adam Silver read the headlines across the league, his head began to ache. Pera, the owner of the Grizzlies had gone behind his back and sold the team without any sort of indication that he was thinking of doing so. The board of governors had been caught up watching what would happen when the Grizzlies minority owners had enabled the buy/sell clause over the last few months. Then Pera bought them out, and the board of governors approved the move. Another problem solved. Or so it seemed.

The Memphis media was hailing this as a victory for fans, which it may have been -- Pera wasn’t a particularly good owner but he was young and Silver was sure he would grow into it now that he owned the team outright. He could seek more support from the other owners and his fanbase. Pera rarely showed up at games, but the hope was now that he would prioritize his biggest acquisition and be more of a presence, ala Steve Ballmer and the Clippers.

But now with the ink drying on the paper work of one deal, Pera is gone into the wind and Aquilini is in. Of course final approval has to be granted by the Board of Governors, but that is just a formality at this point; Aquilini is a billionaire, the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world AIG and an avid sports fan. It looked good for the league to have him as an owner. An owner that would be engaged and be a presence at home games.

It looked bad for Silver to have Pera sell the team like this though, without any consultation with him or any sort of meeting to express the desire to sell. Why did he buyout the minority owners? He could have let them buy him out? He thought Pera had some other motive, for all intents and purposes Pera made a profit on this deal, but is $400 million much to a Billionaire? Maybe things weren't all so rosy with Ubiquiti Networks and Pera needed the capital to right the ship again. It would have been nice to get a head's up though.

He exited the app he was reading and sat his tablet on his lap, his eyes scanning the TV ahead of him. Muted, he could see Stephen A. Smith running his mouth on something as per usual. But the caption at the bottom of the screen said it all:

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Surely not. Wait. Of course. It all made too much sense. Stephen A with another hot take, that this time may actually be right. I'm surprised I didn't receive the application with the paperwork for the sale. Here we go now, crisis management is about to start. Memphis is not going to be happy.
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NBA Midseason Report Card: Grizzlies

Postby seaboh13 on Thu May 31, 2018 7:09 am

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Offense: 102.8, 25th Overall

Defense: 106.3, 17th Overall

W-L | Pct. | GB
13-28 | .317 | 16

Conf.: 12-16

Div.: 5-6

Home: 8-13

Road: 5-15

FRONTCOURT: C
Marc Gasol is still one of the better centers in the league but his name is noticeably absent from All-Star, MVP and Defensive Player of the Year conversations. After years of playing alongside veterans he’s working with the likes of JaMychal Green and rookie Dillon Brooks these days.

BACKCOURT: C
Getting just 12 starts (so far) out of Mike Conley this season has been a spirit crusher. Tyreke Evans has resurrected his profile, though, showing off the skills that made him Rookie of the Year in 2010.

DEFENSE: D
The Grit and Grind days on the defensive end are long gone. The Grizzlies don’t have the seasoning or personnel to play that style anymore. They haven’t fallen all the way to the bottom, but they are no longer among the league’s elite defensive outfits, which they were when they slugged there way to the Western Conference finals under Lionel Hollins.

BENCH: D
Conley’s injury and the upheaval from the coaching change, and subsequent rotational shifts, haven’t allowed much cultivation here. Andrew Harrison wasn’t supposed to start 24 games. And they’ve never gotten what they needed out of Chandler Parsons.

COACHING: Incomplete
It’s unfair to to saddle J.B. Bickerstaff with a grade for something he didn’t sign up for. The Grizzlies sealed their fate this season when they fired David Fizdale after that 7-12 start and turned the program inside out.

OVERALL GRADE: D-
It’s still unclear what the organization thought they had in this team with only Conley and Gasol as key pieces leftover from their contender days. A huge financial investment in your own star free agents entitles you to hold someone accountable, namely the players, but not the coach just 19 games into his second season on the job as he’s trying to reshape the culture. So Fizdale shook things up a little bit and stepped on a few toes, the Grizzlies needed the wake up call. He realized they weren’t going to be contenders this season, that it would be a process getting back to that level.

Now there is uncertainty going forward. Injury concerns continue to cloud Conley’s future. And Gasol’s reputation and game don’t have the same shine after the fallout with and firing of Fizdale. In the absence of a young building block talent being groomed as a franchise pillar for the future, the Grizzlies are stuck, at least for the time being, in that no-man’s land they avoided for years with their quirky but successful Grint and Grind crew. Under new ownership of Francesco Aquilini there could be some changes afoot. Personnel wise GM Chris Wallace could be under pressure to retool the roster before the trade deadline.
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My Office

Postby seaboh13 on Thu May 31, 2018 8:24 am

Ronnie Michaels Office FedEx Forum

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February 7th 2018

One day left until the trade deadline. I've just sat through a 92-88 loss at the FedEx Forum. The Grizz have now fallen to a 18-36 record. With Mike Conley now out for the season with a bone contusion in his knee, this record is not going to get any better. It's hard to sit here and do nothing. Well I can do something. But I don't want to burn Mr Aquilini's ear up to much. My role here is pretty undefined so far. I work in the basketball operations department mainly. I liaise with scouts, check in with the higher up's in operations every so often, and catch a few practice sessions and games. I like to analyse data based on our player performances this season. It doesn't make pretty reading I can tell you. I have relayed some lineup data to the coaches and so far it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. 'Stay in your lane' was pretty much the reply I got. I'm quickly getting swept under the carpet here. There are a few reasons for that. The lack of a proper job description is one. I'm pretty much at the bottom of Basketball Ops. A second reason is well, I'm an outsider. A spy of sorts for the new owner who has to spend most of the week back in Vancouver. There is an uneasiness when I walk in the room with my folder under arm.

The season is lost at this point. We need to make a decision on where to proceed from here. To me, the core of this team is done. Conley can't stay healthy, Gasol has regressed, and grown frustrated with the losing. Parsons is never ever healthy. The only bright spot has been Tyreke Evans, but in my view that shows how far this team has fallen. All respect to Tyreke, but he should not be our best player. I think it's time to rebuild this team. Gasol could be moved at the deadline. JaMychal Green is also moveable, but Tyreke is the piece we could get some traction on. We have a couple of solid young guys, but nothing to write home about. The 2018 Draft looks tantalising. There is an opportunity to rebuild with 1-2 lottery picks. There are some great prospects like DeAndre Ayton, Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley, Michael Porter Jr and the list goes on.

I should really write some of this down. I'll email Mr Aquilini. I want my thoughts known on this. It's time to take a foothold in basketball ops. I have the owners ear, so I better start using. Lets see what Mr Chris Wallace comes up with over the next 24 hours.

This makes for pitiful reading:

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So I better get back to my main focus here. My special project. It's hard to stay focused on this when the roster needs to be fixed. I need to have this dossier ready for submission by March 1st. I feel like I'm in college all over again. I need to contact the Law firm and get them to go through a few things. I think it's almost ready.

Just to attach one last figure to support my submission.

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NBA Trade Deadline Recap

Postby seaboh13 on Thu May 31, 2018 8:35 am

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2018 NBA Trade Deadline Recap

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Griffin will team up with Andre Drummond in Detroit.


February 8th 2018

After weeks of speculation suggesting that it might be a quiet 2018 trade deadline, we got a pretty eventful day in terms of deals completed — NBA teams agreed to 12 trades today, after four others had been finalized in the 10 days leading up to the deadline.

The deadline was still quiet on some fronts, with contenders like the Warriors, Celtics, Rockets, and Raptors staying out of the fray, but the Cavaliers underwent one of the biggest single-day overhauls in years, and last week’s Blake Griffin trade was a bona fide blockbuster.

Our recap of all of 2018’s deadline deals can be found below, starting with the moves completed today…

Trades completed on deadline day:

Lakers acquire Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and the Cavaliers’ 2018 first-round pick (top-3 protected).

Cavaliers acquire Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.

Cavaliers acquire George Hill, Rodney Hood, and the draft rights to Arturas Gudaitis.

Jazz acquire Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, and the right to swap 2024 second-round picks with the Cavaliers.

Kings acquire Iman Shumpert, Joe Johnson, the Heat’s 2020 second-round pick (from Cavaliers), cash ($2.1MM from Cavaliers; $1.1MM from Jazz), and the draft rights to Dimitrios Agravanis.

Heat acquire Dwyane Wade.
Cavaliers acquire a 2024 second-round pick (heavily protected).

Knicks acquire Emmanuel Mudiay.
Nuggets acquire Devin Harris and the less favorable of the Clippers’ and Knicks’ 2018 second-round picks (from Knicks).
Mavericks acquire Doug McDermott and the less favorable of the Kings’ and Trail Blazers’ 2018 second-round picks (from Nuggets).

Suns acquire Elfrid Payton.
Magic acquire the second-most favorable of the Grizzlies’, Hornets’, and Heat’s 2018 second-round picks.

Pistons acquire Jameer Nelson.
Bulls acquire Willie Reed and the right to swap 2022 second-round picks with the Pistons

Heat acquire Luke Babbitt.
Hawks acquire Okaro White.

Bulls acquire Noah Vonleh and cash.
Trail Blazers acquire the draft rights to Milovan Rakovic.

Nets acquire Dante Cunningham.
Pelicans acquire Rashad Vaughn.

Hawks acquire Sheldon Mac and cash.
Wizards acquire a 2019 second-round pick (heavily protected).

Kings acquire Bruno Caboclo.
Raptors acquire Malachi Richardson.

Trades completed in the 10 days leading up to the deadline:


February 7
Hornets acquire Willy Hernangomez.
Knicks acquire Johnny O’Bryant, the Hornets 2020 second-round pick, and the Hornets’ 2021 second-round pick.

February 5
Bucks acquire Tyler Zeller.
Nets acquire Rashad Vaughn and the Bucks’ 2018 second-round pick (if it falls between 31-47).

February 1
Pelicans acquire Nikola Mirotic and their own 2018 second-round pick (previously sent to Bulls).
Bulls acquire Omer Asik, Tony Allen, Jameer Nelson, the Pelicans’ 2018 first-round pick (top-5 protected), and the right to swap 2021 second-round picks with the Pelicans.

January 29
Pistons acquire Blake Griffin, Willie Reed, and Brice Johnson.
Clippers acquire Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, the Pistons’ 2018 first-round pick (top-4 protected), and a 2019 second-round pick.
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Grizzlies Front Office Contracts will not be renewed

Postby seaboh13 on Thu May 31, 2018 8:51 am

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Grizzlies Front Office Handed Walking Papers


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February 28th, 2018

In a move that surprised no one within the NBA, Francesco Aquilini has informed the Grizzies front office that their contracts would be bought out at the end of the season. General Manager Chris Wallace, who is widely respected among the NBA, would also be among those released.

“It’s a bold if not a dangerous move,” said Bill Simmons on his latest podcast. “When you buy a team you generally want to surround yourself with people who know what they’re doing, which usually means holdovers from the last ownership group. This seems to fly in the face of that, but when you're on a losing streak of 11 games, heads are gonna roll.”

The news has been met with mixed reactions from around the league, notably from current front office executives. “I think doing it now, with over a month left in the season, is short-sighted,” said one Western Conference GM. “It’s disrespectful to have this done so soon in his tenure as owner. It’s going to make hiring a replacement harder I think; no one wants to work for someone who won’t even give you a chance.”

One Eastern Conference executive disagreed. “Oh, no doubt some will hate this but this is a business that encourages taking risk, jumping on opportunities … there are plenty of young executive talents out there for the Grizzlies to reap.”

The Grizzlies have let it be known to the entire team that there will be no further moves for the remainder of this season, luckily the trade deadline has passed. “It’s a relief to a lot of guys, yeah,” said Grizzlies Co- Captain Marc Gasol. “It’s good to know we’ll be together at the end of the year … helps get our minds clear, keep us focused. It'll be a long offseason.”

Focus is something the Grizzlies could use. They’re currently mired in a 11 game losing streak with a record of 18-42
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GM Chris Wallace's Office

Postby seaboh13 on Thu May 31, 2018 8:14 pm

February 28th, 2018

He sat in his office, glasses on, his eyes reading the tablet before him over and over. He was disappointed. He was frustrated. He was beaten, let down by ex owner Robert Pera, and new owner Francesco Aquilini . GM Chris Wallace was on his way out at the end of the season and he simply couldn’t stand it.

The Grizzlies were struggling, after trying to reshape the roster to fit David Fizdale at the start of the season. They let Zach Randolph, Tony Allen and Vince Carter leave and with it the heart of Grit and Grind. Fizdale burnt too many bridges, tried to turn over too many a new leaf, and he had to be fired. So now the Grizz had a roster stuck in no mans land. Injuries to Conley and Parsons, and a frustrated Co Captain Marc Gasol. The franchise showed their support for Gasol by firing Fizdale, but that didn't solve every problem. He had recommended strongly to the new owner Francesco Aquilini to let him make trades to make the team better before the deadline. The Cavs had been calling him and calling him, asking about Marc Gasol, willing to give them Tristan Thompson and JR Smith for the center and Tyreke Evans. It was a good deal for a team that needed to tank, but could also give them some new energy.

But Aquilini didn't budge. He said he wanted to assess the roster for the rest of the season and not to deal anyone. He wouldn’t trade Gasol and, in repeated meetings with the man, had cited “experts” that told him it would be bad for the team. Smith and Thompson's attitude would further destroy the team chemistry. He threw out stats, he made a good argument, but of all it had seemed … scripted. Aquilini didn’t sound right when he started talking basketball stats. He was an investment man first, Ice Hockey second.

No, they weren’t his words. The stats weren’t something he came up with himself. It hadn’t taken Chris long to realize that Aquilini’s assistant was the one giving him those stats. Every time Wallace and Aquilini had met the assistant was just coming out of the office. Every time Chris made a plea to trade Gasol, Aquilini rebuffed him with something written in a little notepad. The assistant carried that notepad around on days when Aquilini would visit FedEx Forum.

It was obvious that Aquilini was being fed stats and opinions by that assistant and Chris had tried to talk some sense into the new owner. Aquilini responded by saying that for the remainder of the season Michaels would be promoted to Assistant GM. Wallace knew his time was up and that happened in this business. He wasn’t bitter about that.

He was bitter about being ignored for a personal assistant that looked like he was a scientist rather than a sports guy and had no knowledge of the inner-workings of the league. No knowledge of how players and agents operated. That person was being given more credit than him?

Yet, Aquilini ignored him; he froze him and his staff out and the Grizzlies were, predictably, losing. Although once Conley went down for the season, that was always going to happen. They were 18-42 and the season was spiraling out of control into something far, far worse. If Aquilini's strategy was to tank and try for a high draft pick, Wallace couldn’t blame him; but it you’re going to tank, you tank young. Not old.

He took a sip of his smoothie and wished he was just fired when Aquilini had told him all the front office would all be let go at the end of the season. But, no, he pridefully stayed on, convinced he could talk him into letting him make a few last moves. He stayed on to salvage something from this miserable experience and all he got for it was more misery.

All he got was ignored for some personal assistant.

He turned off his tablet, turned off all the potential trades that were spelled out beautifully in email and leaned back in his chair, the gears in his mind turning. He wasn’t going to stand for this. He wasn’t going to be made a fool of in front of his staff and in front of the NBA just because a new, hotshot owner thought he could save the Grizzlies.

But if there is one positive, it's that he won't be around to deal with the fallout if the Grizzlies relocate. The rumors around the office is that Aquilini and the new Assistant GM have been working on filing for relocation with the board of governors. The deadline for relocation is tomorrow and it will be interesting to see if they file it. Robert Pera better find a disused bomb shelter for the nuclear warhead's that will be launched in his direction.
Last edited by seaboh13 on Thu May 31, 2018 8:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Grizzlies owner files for relocation.

Postby seaboh13 on Thu May 31, 2018 8:33 pm

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Grizzlies owner files for relocation.

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The Memphis Grizzlies new owner had a major announcement today. In his interview on Inside the NBA, Francesco Aquilini told the host that he plans to move the team to the city of Vancouver for the 2018-19 season. This is a major shock to the people of Memphis and Vancouver. Aquilini who also co- owns the Vancouver Canucks had been pursuing a franchise to relocate to Vancouver since early last season. When the Grizzlies were on their way out of town in 2001, Aquilini's investement Group didn't have the necessary capital to bid to save the team then. "It's been a long wait to get this opportunity. I only hope the NBA board of governors see's fit to return the Grizzlies franchise to where it belongs in Canada."

If the Grizzlies are allowed to relocate from Memphis to Vancouver, it would be the fourth time this decade that an NBA team has pulled up stakes, even if it is to return home. Others to do so in the last three decades:

Switching Surroundings

2008 Sonics - Seattle relocated to Oklahoma City
2002 Hornets - Charlotte relocated to New Orleans
2001 Grizzlies - Vancouver relocated to Memphis
1985 Kings - Kansas City relocated to Sacramento
1984 Clippers - San Diego relocated to Los Angeles
1979 Jazz - New Orleans relocated to Salt Lake City
1978 Clippers - Buffalo relocated to San Diego


"Today we notified commissioner [Adam] Silver that we intend to relocate the Grizzlies to Vancouver, if we succeed in negotiating the early lease termination with the FedEx Forum." Aquilini said in a lengthy statement. NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed the league received notice and is referring the matter to the owners' relocation committee.
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Re: Scratching and Clawing: Saving the Grizzlies

Postby Solaris Phase Two on Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:26 pm

Loving this!
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