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Grizzlies GM says Derrick Rose helped influence Pau Gasol trade

Sep 16, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Rose Calipari Memphis AP

Back in 2008, when Memphis traded Pau Gasol to the Lakers for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie and the rights to an untested European player in Marc Gasol, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace was ripped by seemingly everyone. It was said he got nothing for giving up an elite player such as Gasol (who instantly lifted the Lakers to three straight NBA Finals and two titles).

But in retrospect, Wallace did the kind of reboot with his franchise that so many other teams are hoping to emulate now. The other Gasol turned out to be a steal, and paired with Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and other solid role players the Grizzlies went to the Western Conference finals last season.

And it all started in part because of Derrick Rose.

Rose was still in college, but Wallace saw what he was doing at the University of Memphis and decided the reboot of the Grizzlies was in order, he told the Boston Globe.

“We were stuck at that point. We never won a playoff game. We were heading for a second 20-something-win season. After all, this is the entertainment business and the town really did not see much entertainment value in our team anymore. Our crowds were dismal and it coincided with the Derrick Rose season at the University of Memphis, and literally we were like a high school JV compared to them in terms of interest. It was just remarkable when we played a day-night doubleheader, you didn’t think you were in the same building when you went to their game. So, there was really nothing to lose at that point.”

Wallace says he didn’t take the heat personally, nor does he feel vindicated. He should. He made a smart move to jump-start a stuck franchise, even if that meant taking some incoming fire for a while.

If the Grizzlies have another big season, the team should buy Rose a nice bottle of wine as a thank you.

  1. spursareold - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    I don’t think anyone salary dumped an All Star this summer to set up for next year’s draft. That’s what Pau was. This strikes me as a case of revisionist history.

    • xolereal - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      The Sixers pretty much did when they traded Jrue Holiday.

    • carttare - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      Jrue. Holiday.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      Celtics.

    • biasedhomer - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      ANd Jure Holiday was technically an All Star, traded for a guy who won’t play until January and a lottery pick in this up coming draft.

      • spursareold - Sep 16, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        Jrue wasn’t salary dumped. Philly got a high lottery pick for him, plus another one next year in a stacked draft.

        I also don’t consider the Boston duo as a salary dump, since both of them are in the very sunset of their careers. Paul still had All NBA seasons ahead of him. Pierce and Garnett, not so much.

      • adamsjohn714 - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        the sixers sold high on Jrue when he was strongly overrated.

  2. gdub520 - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    jerry west was still involved with grizzlies at that time, iirc. what i think happened is that jerry did the lakers a solid in the same way the lakers did pat riley a solid.

    several yrs ago lakers were getting ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first time beating celtics in the finals. pretty all the main cogs of the lakers came back, including riley. i believe he and kupchak talked over old times and when shaq went nuts, lakers traded him to pat riley in what at first seemed like a fairly one-side deal. lakers received lamar odom, caron butler and brian grant in exchange. butler was eventually traded for kwame to wizards. yr or 2 later, i believe west did the same for his former lakers by sending pau (which also got pau out of a bad spot by sending him to a winning team) in exchange for kwame and marc gasol. heat got a title, lakers got pieces to put a champion together and memphis began to assemble what is now a very good team.

  3. zelaya322 - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    The Lakers should be thanking Derrick Rose as well.

  4. adamsjohn714 - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    This is clearly revisionist history because Rose’s college numbers weren’t eye popping.

  5. prov1x - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    College numbers weren’t eye popping???
    Well.. He was the first overall pick in the draft after his freshman year. Must have popped somebody’s eyes just enough.

    Geeez.

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      yeah, good, but not great numbers. A mediocre shooting PG with lots of turnovers doesn’t say sure thing to me. One of the best players available in the draft, but not a ‘trade away everyone to get him type talent.’

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