Following his arrest involving a domestic dispute with his girlfriend on Thanksgiving Day, Hamed Haddadi should expect some form of discipline from the Memphis Grizzlies in the near future. The only question is what kind of punishment does he deserve?
Haddadi already rarely sees meaningful playing time, so having him ride the bench over the incident would be a laughable form of punishment in his case. However, the Grizzlies need to figure out some kind of reasonable punishment that would act as a deterrent to keep Haddadi from ever repeating such an act.
In case you haven't seen any coverage of the story, both Haddadi and his girlfriend were charged with assault after a verbal argument escalated into a physical altercation at their Memphis area apartment. Both of them had bruises and scratches when police arrived, and they were taken to the Regional Medical Center for treatment.
The Grizzlies are fairly thin at the center position, meaning it is highly unlikely they would consider releasing Haddadi unless they knew they could sign or acquire a reasonable replacement to fill his role as the third-string center.
Considering he is already behind Hasheem Thabeet on the Grizzlies depth chart at center, it clearly wouldn't take much to replace Haddadi's production on the floor. If Marc Gasol could consistently play at a high level, and Thabeet didn't consistently play like a clumsy child in a grown man's body, Haddadi would likely be waived or traded for next to nothing within the next week.
In the four games he has appeared in this season, Haddadi has posted whopping averages of 0.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. Tell me again why this guy is even in the NBA? For the record, just because someone is 7'0" tall doesn't mean that person can play great basketball.
Since the Grizzlies probably won't release Haddadi and eat his $1.6 million salary for this season while weakening their frontcourt depth in the process, and shortening his playing time while still playing him is nearly impossible, I think Memphis should consider suspending him from the team for 5-8 games as punishment.
Haddadi is listed at 7'2" and 254 pounds according to basketball-reference.com, and while it's possible, I highly doubt his girlfriend is anywhere near his size. A man should never lay his hands on a woman over an argument or disagreement, but it is even worse when the guy is a giant.
As someone who lives in the Memphis area, I can almost guarantee that Haddadi will not suffer any major legal punishment over this incident. However, the Grizzlies can and need to set an example that this type of behavior won't be tolerated.