Memphis Grizzlies' Stalemate With Pick Xavier Henry Dives To New Low

Brandon MoorContributor IAugust 20, 2010

NEW YORK - JUNE 24:  Xavier Henry stands with NBA Commisioner David Stern after being drafted twelfth by  the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York City.  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 Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

It’s ok.  Go ahead and say it.  The Xavier Henry situation has reached an ugly stage. 

Still unsigned, the #12 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft to the Memphis Grizzlies, former Kansas Jayhawk professes it’s only a matter of time before the deal is done. 

"I talk to my agent all the time, he just calls and checks up on me, sees how I'm doing, and just says 'we're still working on it, we're sending them letters, they're talking to us, but nothing happening yet.' So I'm not sure what's going to happen."-ESPN

Convincing?  Try a little harder and use some backbone.

Neither Xavier Henry nor his agent Arn Tellem is pulling the strings in this tug-of-war of price gouging.  No, the bona fide genius backstage haggling the bank teller is none other daddy Carl Henry himself.

If you remember the comedy of errors Carl Henry put on toying with the Kansas Jayhawks’ faithful, keep in mind the back and forth circus Mr. Henry put on scamming his own kids to gain not only higher social status, but to lock up Xavier as sure fire first round lottery pick.

Finally after teetering, Carl quit yanking the college basketball world around stomping out the hopes of John Calipari from adding another one and done to an already absurdly unreal roster full of talent, announcing Xavier was 100% attending the University of Kansas.

Rookies have a horrible reputation of strolling into the NBA following the Draft demanding ungodly sums of cash and refusing to sign if a high percentage of that sum isn’t guaranteed.  Their stipulations earning veteran and free agent dollar amounts are as out of touch with reality as it sounds.  They haven’t stepped foot on an NBA court for one game in the regular season.

Proving themselves and earning even a lick of respect in the summer leagues is hard enough.

It gets better.

Pushing the envelope further, most Kansas fans will agree as exceptionally talented as Xavier Henry was after his freshman year as a Jayhawk, vacating his roster spot in the locker room of Allen Field House was a premature move.

Standing 6-6 and weighing 220 lbs, Xavier Henry’s physique mystified many people reeling in agents by the shiploads.  No question did he appear to be an NBA ready specimen possessing the southpaw style of play making it fundamentally uncomfortable for anyone having to defend this kid.

Through 36 games, Henry averaged 13.4 points per game at a shooting clip of 45.8%.  Although solid from the free throw stripe, Xavier went into overdrive relying on his southpaw method as a crutch.  He never developed a right hand and no matter who the Jayhawks played, an absence of a right hand caught up with Henry in a hurry as his performance in Big 12 Conference play fell well below par.

All Henry is looking for is to be treated “in a manner commensurate with his peers and the value the Grizzlies associated him as the No. 12 pick. No better, no worse.”


Each NBA team is allowed to pay as lofty as 120% of their scale amount.  For the #12 pick in the draft, the 120% translates to $1.7 million.  Apparently, the other Grizzlies pick Greivis Vasquez, is holding out in signing for the exact same cause. 

Makes you feel better after hearing Greivis Vasquez argument, doesn’t it?

A mere blemish on the NBA Summer League radar, oh that’s right, he elected to sit the entire Memphis Grizzlies’ Vegas Summer League Schedule.  He has no performance based accolades to lean on besides his freshman season at Kansas.

Nothing at all.

The Sporting News broke a story today stating the Grizzlies weighing the options on trading their #12 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft to whoever deems Henry’s services are required.  Evidently this goes to show Henry is not as irreplaceable as he and his entourage accepts as true.

A possible trade may prevent the Grizzlies from crumbling at the seams due to an over-privileged, unproven rookie with no collateral to sit on at the present time.  Good luck to the next team receiving him via transaction.  Carl Henry and the fake agent could have new prey to pull the wool over the eyes of if the trade goes through.

Still a big “if” need you be reminded.

Just hope for the sake of Xavier Henry’s future this quarrel over contract money isn’t a prelude to another historical NBA Draft bust.

If it proceeds down the same path, will Carl Henry dart from behind the scenes accepting no responsibility for Xavier’s demise?  Let’s prey this situation fails to reach that level.

It has happened before and the aftermath is a monster mess to wipe clean.

Xavier Henry is a fantastic young man.  Hearing his soft tone resonate into the microphone of reporters in playful fashion most 18 year old kids have, demonstrate how unprepared and unequipped he is to deal with the pressures on the professional podium.  The responsible adults and proficient representation is only holding the kids head under water.

Believe it or not he clearly enjoyed attending Kansas and many are inclined to wonder if Xavier’s leaving was his decision to begin with.  In turn, the university bonded with Henry as well heightening the curiosity of Xavier’s choice to leave Lawrence early.

With any luck, common sense will kick in this matter can be resolved in a civilized manner, but at this point, the fog keeps thickening.  Sensible and responsible adults are pouring the fog on thicker by the layer.  If fog becomes too compact, accidents tend to happen.

Commit to memory the disasters of professional sports draft busts.

They’re not pretty.


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