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Grizzlies acquire Shane Battier and Ishmael Smith from Rockets

MEMPHIS, February 24, 2011 – The Grizzlies have acquired Shane Battier and Ishmael Smith from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll and a future, lottery-protected first-round draft pick, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today. The move reunites the Grizzlies and the City of Memphis with Battier, one of the most-popular and effective players in franchise history.

“We are thrilled to have acquired a player of Shane’s caliber as we make a push toward the playoffs,” Wallace said. “Shane is remembered fondly in our Memphis community for his contributions to the franchise’s prior postseason runs, and we expect that his combination of shooting, defense and leadership will be key ingredients in helping us get back there. We are also pleased to add Ishmael Smith, who has a bright future in this league.”

The first-ever draft pick in the Memphis era (No. 6 overall in 2001), Battier starred for five seasons in the Bluff City (2001-06), averaging 10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.28 steals in 32.3 minutes in 396 games (279 starts). The franchise’s all-time leader in steals (507), Battier also ranks in the top 10 in team history in points (4,160, 6th), rebounds (1,908, 7th), blocks (418, 3rd), three-point field goals made (389, 4th), free throws made (765, 7th), games played (3rd) and games started (5th).

After helping lead Memphis to three-straight playoff appearances (2004, 2005, 2006), Battier will join current Grizzlies star Rudy Gay, who he was traded for on July 12, 2006 in a deal with the Rockets. During his four-plus years in Houston, Battier earned consecutive appearances on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2007-08, 2008-09).

The 6-8, 220-pound forward holds career averages of 9.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.10 steals on .444 shooting (.386 3FG) in 744 games (619 starts) over 10 NBA seasons with the Grizzlies and Rockets. After winning the NCAA Championship, the NCAA Final Four MVP, the Naismith College Player of the Year and the John R. Wooden Award in 2001 in his senior season with the Duke Blue Devils, Battier was named to the 2001-02 NBA All-Rookie First Team after averaging 14.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in his rookie season for the Grizzlies.

Smith, a 6-0, 175-pound guard, has posted 2.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 28 games (three starts) in his rookie season with the Rockets, who signed the Wake Forest standout as a free agent on Aug. 23, 2010 after he went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft. The 22-year-old also posted 12.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.50 steals in eight games (five starts) while on assignment with the NBA Development League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers earlier this season.

Thabeet, a 7-3, 267-pound center, holds career averages of 2.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.92 blocks in 11.1 minutes in 113 games (13 starts) in two seasons with the Grizzlies (2009-11). The second overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the University of Connecticut product has tallied 1.2 points and 1.7 boards in 8.2 minutes in 45 games this season.

Carroll, a 6-8, 212-pound forward, holds career marks of 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10.7 minutes in 78 games (one start) in two seasons with Memphis (2009-11). The 27th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Carroll has appeared in seven games this season, posting 1.4 points and 1.1 rebounds.