Allen Iverson Signing Raises Many Questions about the Memphis Grizzlies

CLEVELAND - FEBRUARY 22:  Allen Iverson #1 of the Detroit Pistons looks on while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 22, 2009 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won the game 99-78. 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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Taylor SmithAnalyst ISeptember 10, 2009

Chris Wallace has had an interesting tenure as General Manager of the Memphis Grizzlies. 

His most notable (and most criticized) move came a couple of seasons ago when he traded the franchise's most successful and popular player, Pau Gasol, to the Los Angeles Lakers for spare parts, including Kwame Brown and Javaris Crittenton. 

Gasol's younger brother, Marc, was also included in the deal, and had a successful season as a rookie center for the Grizzlies last season. 

After the 2008 NBA Draft, he made what appears to be a great trade sending the rights to Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Jason Collins, and Brian Cardinal to Minnesota in exchange for O.J. Mayo, Marko Jaric, Antoine Walker, and Greg Buckner.

While Jaric, Walker, and Buckner were scraps, Mayo instantly became the Grizzlies' best player as a rookie last season, averaging almost 19 PPG. 

This summer, Wallace questionably traded Quentin Richardson to the Los Angeles Clippers for Zach Randolph.

While Randolph puts up nice numbers, he may be the NBA's version of "Team Obliterator". 

He's had several run-ins with teammates, and has never been a positive influence in any locker room.

The move was also questionable because of Randolph's horrendous contract.

For a player that could probably single-handedly bring down an entire team, the Grizzlies will be paying $16 million this season, and over $17 million next year.

Yesterday, it was announced that the Grizzlies had agreed to a one-year contract with Allen Iverson.

While Iverson still may be a top-tier scorer in the league, the main question I have about this signing is: How are the Grizzlies going to be able to divide the ball between all of their scorers to keep everybody happy?

How is small forward Rudy Gay (who averaged 19 PPG and was already reportedly unhappy with having to share the ball with Mayo last season) going to deal with sharing the ball even more?

How does the second overall pick in this summer's draft, Hasheem Thabeet, fit into a lineup that already has Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph on the front line?

Is Thabeet even a good basketball player?

Will the locker room self-destruct with both Randolph and Iverson on board?

If the Grizzlies love point guard Mike Conley so much, will they really be able to bring him off of the bench and have Iverson start at the point?

If Conley starts, is Iverson going to be happy as a reserve?

I think the Grizzlies would be best-suited to make Iverson come off of the bench as Mayo's backup.

For one thing, Iverson has proven that he is certainly not a point guard.

Having him start at that position over Conley would set both Conley and the Grizzlies back.

Iverson would be a great spark off of the bench and could still log plenty of minutes to make a positive difference.

However, I feel like Iverson partially agreed to join Memphis because he would be given an opportunity to start.

I really can't imagine how a team with so many personalities and so many players that need to dominate the ball, in order to be successful, can combine and become a winner.

Team owner Michael Heisley may only have approved this deal in an attempt to fill seats for a team that was second-to-last in attendance last year. 

In my opinion, the acquisitions of Randolph and Iverson make zero sense for the Memphis Grizzlies. 

These aren't moves that will make you a championship caliber franchise.

While they may be slightly improved next season, there is still a very, very slim chance that they appear in the playoffs.

It also hurts that they play in the Southwest Division; a division that also happens to have the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Hornets, and Houston Rockets.

A core of Gay, Mayo, Gasol, Conley, and Thabeet would have Memphis looking like a nice up-and-comer.

The additions of Iverson and Randolph just complicate things greatly.

 

See more from this writer at The Roberts Roundball Report

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