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Shane Battier would like to stay in Memphis, but….

Nov 25, 2011, 2:40 PM EDT

Memphis Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One Getty Images

You know those videos of a piranha feeding frenzy when a cow picks a poor time to walk across the Amazon? That is pretty much what the NBA free agency period will look like after the lockout.

Shane Battier is about to be one of those free agents.

Memphis wants to keep the band together after it’s playoff run last year, and told the Commercial Appeal — in a post primarily about how he blames both sides for the lockout, which is a logical and reasoned position, so expect him to be shunned by those involved — he’d consider it. But until he knows the rules, it’s hard to say where he lands.

“It’s unsettling to not know what the terms of the CBA will be,” said Battier, an unrestricted free agent. “What are the exceptions, who’ll be able to use these exceptions, what kind of cap? I have no idea where I can end up. When we do finally sign, it’s going to be chaos trying to go through the free agency period, and I’ll have to make a life decision (quickly).”

Battier said he’s hoping to get a three- or four-year deal.

“Memphis may be the best place to return to if teams are able to maintain (Larry) Bird rights,” Battier said. “… I want to be in a happy place. I want to go to work and enjoy it. When you go to work and you have a chance to win every night, your job is way better. That’s for any profession, but you want to have a role and be able to contribute to winning.”

How much is Memphis willing to pay Battier long term? They Grizzlies only have $37 million on the books for next season, but they are going to have to pay Marc Gasol big money (he is a restricted free agent). Would they give Battier a mid-level like deal for three years? Would he take that? Veterans who are good in the locker room and can defend are in demand, and in the frenzy who knows who will step up with offers.

I expect Battier will start the season with Memphis. Let’s just hope there is a season.

  1. dawkattack - Nov 25, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    There has been rumors of the spurs going after him or nene

  2. leearmon - Nov 25, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    This is my main problem with many of the owner’s stance on the hard cap. It hurts the thing they are saying they’re trying to protect. Small market teams. The notion that smaller markets can’t re-sign or sign their stars is a lie. Memphis, one of the smallest markets in ANY SPORT, Just re-signed Zach Randolph, Mike Conely Jr. and Rudy Gay. Now players such as Marc Gasol and Shane Battier are left wondering if the Grizzlies will have enough to keep them as well. The stricter the rules are for going over the cap, the harder it will be for teams without a strong generational fan base i.e. Knicks, Bulls, Celtics, Lakers to pay the luxary tax. The same thing will happen to OKC. If the cap holds to around $63-$67 million. How can the Thunder keep Westbrook, Ibaka and Harden? approx. $20 million a year will be going to Durant, which leads $40 million left over for 12 other players. If you build your team the correct way, with young talent through the draft, when their contracts end, how can you keep your core together with harsh cap rules? You’re basically telling the Thunder and Grizzlies, pick which 2-3 guys you want, and cut the rest loose. So guys like Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Shane Battier will be out in the cold, eventually headed to a “big market” because those select few teams will still be able to pay the luxary tax.

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