HOOPSWORLD.COM: When Chris Wallace made the move from Boston to be the Memphis Grizzlies’ new general manager one of the first things he did was reach out to disgruntled power forward Pau Gasol. Gasol was in Spain at the time, but even over the phone Wallace was able to quickly connect with his new star player. Gasol, who was all but demanding a trade a few months earlier, made it clear that he wants to win. That’s exactly what Wallace moved to Memphis to do.
“My conversations with Pau have been very positive,” Wallace recently told Basketball News. “He wants to win and be in that type of environment and we’re going to provide him a winning environment. We think he’s going to thrive in Marc Iavaroni’s system because he’s such a versatile and skilled offensive player. His talents are going to be accentuated to the highest degree. We’re going to get up and down the court and everything we’re going to do will feed into his strengths.”
Indeed, Coach Iavaroni knows exactly what to do with big men, especially when they’re surrounded by a deep pool of talent like that in Memphis. He worked wonders with Amare Stoudemire during his time in Phoenix and the Grizzlies have every reason to expect a similar result. Having outstanding young players like Hakim Warrick, Rudy Gay, and Kyle Lowry will help, though perhaps not as much as adding the premier point guard of the 2007 NBA Draft: Mike Conley, Jr. Add that cast of players to one of the league’s top shooters in Mike Miller and you’re certainly putting together a playoff production.