07-09-2009, 11:08 AM
I Go Hard In The Paint
Join Date: May 2009
A.I. To Memphis Could Happen Any Minute Disaster Or Success
While one Grizzlies transaction is on hold, another potential deal -- once seemingly improbable -- could be nearing completion.
Although neither team has reneged, an agreed-upon trade between Memphis and the Los Angeles Clippers that would put power forward Zach Randolph in a Grizzlies uniform wasn't made official Wednesday for several reasons ranging from accounting to player physicals.
Meanwhile, All-Star guard Allen Iverson could be donning a Grizzlies uniform any minute.
Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley wants to meet with Iverson and is seriously considering a one-year, $5 million offer, according to team insiders. Heisley's renewed interest presents a sudden turn of events, given that the organization had all but decided to pass on Iverson.
The veteran scorer is a free agent for the first time in his professional career. Iverson, 34, is also negotiating with the Miami Heat.
What began as exploratory discussions with the Griz has turned into substantive talks, according to sources. And the Grizzlies are a house divided on the issue. There is little to no support for signing Iverson in the organization, but Heisley is having second thoughts.
Heisley will make the final call, and he is leaning toward the risk-reward given Iverson's marketing appeal and basketball ability compared with his controversial work ethic.
Heisley, the Chicago-based billionaire Grizzlies' owner, is expected to outline to Iverson a proposal that is more lucrative financially but less than what the 13-year veteran seeks in terms of his basketball role.
If Iverson joins the Grizzlies, he'll agree to be a player off the bench who conforms to the team's commitment of developing its young talent.
The Grizzlies would make clear to Iverson that he would be sent home or banished for any perceived act of insubordination.
It is still unknown whether Iverson would consent to the Grizzlies' criteria.
Iverson recently indicated via Twitter that he wanted to play a significant role on any team.
"I'm a Free Agent, healthy again, and capable of signing with any team," Iverson said. "My only preference will be to play for a coach that knows what I bring to the table and that I am going to bring it every night! Someone that knows how to best utilize my skills to make our team the very best that we can be."
Iverson's agent, Leon Rose, didn't respond to phone messages left by The Commercial Appeal.
"Some offers are on the table and discussions are ongoing," Rose told the Miami Herald for Wednesday's editions. "That's all I can really say at this point about that."
Iverson had a problem being a reserve with the playoff-bound Detroit Pistons and said he'd prefer to retire before becoming a bench player. It's a sentiment that he repeated in an interview with Detroit media last weekend.
A somewhat mysterious back injury ended Iverson's season April 3.
Iverson's scoring ability and mass appeal are indisputable. He played in 57 games for the Pistons and averaged 17.4 points and 4.9 assists. Iverson also has always been a sellout draw in Memphis, something Heisley presumably is considering.
Plus, the Griz need more backcourt scoring punch and a reliable ballhandler in reserve. Iverson, a former league MVP, has averaged 27.1 points in his career.
If the Iverson negotiations continue to progress, the Griz stand to make significant upgrades in the backcourt and on the frontline.
It could take up to five more days before the Randolph-for-Richardson swap is announced, mainly because the Griz are looking to consummate another trade scenario first.
As the NBA lifted a moratorium on transactions Wednesday, Memphis was among a few teams considering a three-way deal with Dallas and Toronto.
The Mavericks are trying to pry Shawn Marion from the Raptors in a sign-and-trade agreement and are soliciting the Grizzlies as a facilitator. It is believed that the Griz would receive veteran guard Jerry Stackhouse and cash considerations in the deal.
Stackhouse has $2 million guaranteed on a $7 million contract for next season.
Any potential Memphis-Dallas-Toronto deal would not affect the Grizzlies' agreement with the Clippers.
If It's A One-Three Year Don't Bother Me But If We Piss Off 21 Mill I Won't Be Watching A Griz Game This Year