NBA Trade Rumors: Would Pau Gasol Be Good for the Memphis Grizzlies?

Tom Firme@TFirmeAnalyst IIJune 19, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 02:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies during the second half at Staples Center on January 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Grizzlies defeated the Lakers 104-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Pau Gasol has been a hot name on the trade market since the season concluded, with the Memphis Grizzlies becoming the most recent team to be connected with him.

According to the New York Daily News, the Grizzlies are deeply interested in Gasol. One must wonder how much sense this scenario actually makes.

The article states, "As long as Heisley owns the Grizzlies, Memphis will always have an interest. Heisley has always wanted to bring Gasol back, pairing him with his brother, Marc."

Pardon me for wondering if the sentimentality is actually there either for Heisley or for the Gasol brothers. First, Heisley is primarily interested in winning a championship with the core group he currently has in Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley.

Those who assert that the Grizzlies are trying to trade a player from this core group missed the boat on Heisley's emphasis on winning with these four guys.

While telling The Commercial Appeal that he wouldn't deal Gay, Heisley said, "Our plan was always to protect the core. I've got the core for four years....We're looking to build a team around this core group."

Heisley went on to reiterate that he wants to win a championship with that core group. He wouldn't want to change it by trading someone, perhaps Randolph, for Pau Gasol.

Besides, Gasol is backsliding in the latter part of his career. He was lackluster at best in the playoffs, averaging just 12.5 points to go with 9.5 rebounds per game. His apparent lack of energy hurt the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Grizzlies wouldn't want to deal with Pau's decline, nor would it help to put him next to his brother, Marc. Putting Marc and Pau together in the Grizzlies frontcourt would only make Pau resentful of  Marc's youthful energy and growing playing ability.

Also, contrary to what some might believe about a boost in chemistry with the addition of Pau, it wouldn't do anything to help chemistry. Randolph and Marc Gasol are already a superb pair that works tremendously well together. The two create mirrored looks on offense, simultaneously posting up or rolling out on the perimeter.

Randolph and Marc Gasol are great together on the boards. In 2010-11, they combined for 19.7 rebounds per game. In 2009-10, they combined for 21 per game.

As for the sentimental aspect of bringing Pau Gasol back to Memphis, that's useless. The Grizzlies need to work towards a championship, not bringing in a $19 million earner for sentimentality.

For that matter, they can't afford to bring him in. If it were a trade of Randolph for the elder Gasol, then the small-market franchise would come out with $65 committed to nine players. That wouldn't leave much room to fill the roster before the luxury tax threshold.

The Grizzlies can win a championship with the core they have. Randolph and his young Spanish partner make a wonderful inside tandem. Gay is a dynamic scorer. Conley is an up-and-coming point guard.

They don't need to deal for a player on the decline in vainglorious hope of increasing their chance of winning a title or any other reason.