Mar 20, 2012, 3:09 PM EDT
It’s a shot in the dark. A Hail Mary. It’s you at the bar at 2 a.m. looking at that girl finishing her Cabernet.
Memphis is taking a shot on Gilbert Arenas that is not likely to work out, but neither side has anything to lose so they have decided to go for it.
Arenas will sign with the Grizzlies, general manager Chris Wallace confirmed to the Commercial Appeal.
Arenas, who was in Memphis the past two days, passed a physical and signed a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum. Memphis will pay him a prorated salary worth about $300,000. The 10-year veteran is expected to join the Griz Wednesday in Portland. Memphis begins a four-game West Coast road trip tonight at Sacramento.
Mike Conley will still be the starter and see the bulk of the minutes at the point for Memphis. But behind him has been Josh Selby and Jeremy Pargo, and coach Lionel Hollins clearly does not have a lot of faith in them. They needed to take a shot and Arenas was out there.
The problem is Arenas was not good at all playing for the Magic last season — he shot just 34.4 percent on the year, compiling a sad PER of 8.6. And is defense was actually worse than his offense. He was better the first part of the season in Washington, but not much. He blamed all that on health issues.
Arenas has worked out for a few teams and reports have been consistent that he has lost weight and is moving pretty well. He said he had the Kobe Bryant procedure on his knees and he did pass the Grizzlies’ team physical.
What’s the risk? Well, this is Gilbert Arenas, a guy not exactly known for taking this seriously in the locker room. And bringing in guns. So Memphis is banking on him having grown up and will not screw up the chemistry of everyone’s favorite Western Conference dark horse. The easy part is if he doesn’t work out on the court, you just bury him on the bench with the other PGs. And run Conley into the ground.
Memphis feels they have nothing to lose on this, so they are taking their shot and giving Arenas one.
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