10/18/13 vs. Grizzlies
Cohen’s Analysis: Nobody was totally surprised when the Grizzlies decided to trade Rudy Gay last season. It was what they received that staggered some.
Despite the initial criticism and rather than reduce payroll to merely “rebuild,” the Grizzlies proved that a player’s contract doesn’t necessarily dictate his overall value.
While Gay helped the franchise grow into one of the West’s elite, Memphis didn’t suddenly deteriorate like many assumed it would after the midseason deal. In fact, the Grizzlies advanced all the way to the conference finals before getting swept by the Spurs.
Tayshaun Prince and Ed Davis, the two players acquired by the Grizzlies in the trade, complemented the team’s main stars, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Mike Conley, extremely well.
With San Antonio another year older, Oklahoma City dealing with a major injury to Russell Westbrook and with teams like Houston and Golden State still adjusting with its prized free agent acquisitions, would it shock anyone if Memphis woke up on Christmas Day with the best record in the Western Conference?