HoopsHype Chris Wallace rumors

May 30, 2013 Updates
May 29, 2013 Updates
May 27, 2013 Updates

According to two people with knowledge of the situation, Vivek Ranadive has begun the process of finding a replacement for Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie and is considering San Antonio Spurs team president R.C. Buford, Golden State assistant general manager Travis Schlenk, and Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace. Former Indiana general manager David Morway may also receive consideration, and Ranadive's internal list is not believed to be limited to this group. The people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the search. USA Today Sports

May 19, 2013 Updates

Everyone knows the deal: Pau Gasol to the Lakers for his chubby, unheralded younger brother Marc Gasol, bust Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton and a couple first-round draft picks. Stunning criticism crushed Wallace for getting fleeced while being backhandedly credited for handing the post-Shaquille O’Neal Lakers the keys to certain championships. “I expect the media to shoot from the hip and not study the deal. That’s to be expected,” Wallace said. “I just shook my head. I had never seen that kind of response from inside the league. I don’t deny that was the assist for two Lakers championships, but we had to shake things up. We had never won a playoff game. We had been in the 20s [wins] and there was complete apathy in our market. Calipari and the Tigers were roaring at the time. "When we went around the league, we weren’t going to get a tit-for-tat deal. We wanted to bring our salary structure down, get assets and draft picks. And no one else had a Marc Gasol.” NBA.com

Marc Gasol attended high school in Memphis as Pau was becoming the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. At 18, he returned to Spain to begin his professional career in the Spanish ACB league, largely considered the world’s second-most competitive league. In 2007-08 he was tearing it up. "He was trending up so much at the time. He was on pace to be the ACB MVP,” Wallace said. “I said it at the time, I felt like the little boy crying wolf. There was no question Pau was going to flourish next to Kobe and could win several titles, but this deal couldn’t be judged for several years.” NBA.com

April 25, 2013 Updates
February 20, 2013 Updates

Yet while it has been reported that Gay was happy to get out of Memphis, he said both that and the idea that he definitely wouldn't re-sign with the Grizzlies wasn't true. "It was a total shock to me," he said of the trade. "I never went to any of (the new management) and told them that I wanted to be traded. I've never done that. The summer before, I did. I said this team has a chance to be a competitor in the West, and we're going to be good, but if you plan on doing anything – this is the summer before – I said I want to express to you that I may be wanting to move on. "And this was with Chris Wallace (the general manager who remains but who is no longer involved like he was under former owner Michael Heisley) … I wanted to see it through, because we started so well. We were playing so great as a team, it kind of made me feel like this is it. This could be the chance for us. There's not too many times when you can build a team like that. Obviously financial stuff goes on, but when you build a team like that you have to see it through." USA Today Sports

February 9, 2013 Updates

"He reminds me at times of a free safety in football," said Chris Wallace, the Grizzlies' general manager, "with his ability to zero in and focus on the ball. He's all about getting the ball back." Here's what else sets him apart: Allen owns an extensive video library with footage of almost every guard and small forward and watches it constantly. He calls it "going to the movies" and it's a pregame ritual. "If you check, my fingerprints might be on every player in the league," he says. SportsonEarth

January 31, 2013 Updates

But Griz general manager Chris Wallace said Thursday afternoon that with the NBA trade deadline still weeks away, the Grizzlies may not be finished wheeling and dealing, especially since the team received a trade exception of approximately $7.5 million in the deal with the Raptors and the Pistons. “It’s very possible (to make another deal) because we don’t have to include one of our players because of receiving trade assignments,” Wallace said at a press conference in the Grizzlies’ practice facility in FedExForum. “We now can be a team that can relieve a luxury-tax burden on another team. We can go someplace, see a player we like that’s out of a rotation and get him using this $7.5 million trade exception that’s good for the next 365 days. It’s a very valuable piece of real estate.” Memphis Commercial Appeal

The Grizzlies issued a statement on the trade late Wednesday, and embarrassingly had "general manager Chris Wallace" throw out the obligatory organizational quotes on the deal. Only, Wallace had nothing to do with the trade. Nothing. He isn't making calls to teams. He isn't consulted by the new regime. He's waiting until they agree on the terms of his inevitable parting. So, Pera and new CEO Jason Levien take an unpopular trade and assign it to Wallace in the news release. Yahoo! Sports

Levien is making these deals based largely on the recommendations of John Hollinger, a statistician who worked for a cable sports company. The San Antonio Spurs once used him as a consultant and regretfully took his advice to sign a free agent named Jackie Butler. It was such a disaster, the Spurs had to attach Luis Scola to a trade to get Butler out of town. Yahoo! Sports

That’s because even before Hollinger’s hiring, the Grizzlies constantly used advanced statistical analysis as part of the process of assessing players and scouting opponents. It’s just that the Grizzlies didn’t receive the attention because there wasn’t a person whose full-time job dealt in the subject. From April of 2009, until he was hired full-time as director of analytics for the Philadelphia 76ers in November, Aaron Barzilai served as a consultant to Chris Wallace and the Grizzlies. Wallace said that analytics are a part of putting together a scouting report on a prospect or a team, but just a piece of the overall big puzzle. Still, he said the importance can’t be understated. “There was no transaction we made whether it was a draft choice or free agency that we didn’t consult Aaron,” Wallace said. “We didn’t go lockstep with all the numbers but at least we let him present his case.” HoopsHype

January 29, 2013 Updates

With more than three months on the job, Levien has begun to transform the Grizzlies with some unexpected additions to his front office staff, tapping long-time business associate Stu Lash to oversee player personnel and long-time sports reporter and advanced analytics guru John Hollinger, formerly from ESPN, as his vice president of basketball operations. "Both guys needed to be recruited a little bit," Levien told USA Today Sports. "I put my agent hat on, but I think both guys were excited." USA Today Sports

Hiring Lash seemed almost inevitable, as he and Levien have a long history together. However, hiring Hollinger away from ESPN was something of a surprise. "I always read his stuff so I sort of knew him from reading his stuff and saying, 'This guy is smart and he writes really well,'" Levien said. "We spent time at the Sloan Conference together (an annual sports analytics conference held by MIT in Boston), and I liked him even more. "I leaned on John when I was an agent a few times to give me advice on how I can use analytics in promoting my clients through negotiation and even in the draft. I understood what he was looking at and what he saw and how that equated to what I was looking at and what I saw. And I said, 'This guy really gets it, he's really sharp.'" USA Today Sports

"If you look at the dynamic of our group, with Jason making the final decision," Lash says, "Chris brings a tremendous amount of experience and he's been here, he's done a great job with the foundation and the core of what this team is. John and myself, having different backgrounds and the transition early on was not very difficult. Chris was very open on how he got to this point with this team and it's been good." It's this kind of synergy of information that Levien envisioned when he brought together his front office. "We definitely have a plan and vision for what the future here looks like," Hollinger said. "I'm sure you want me to share all of it, but unfortunately I can't really disclose USA Today Sports

January 25, 2013 Updates
January 24, 2013 Updates

Yesterday, the Memphis Grizzlies traded Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a future first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Jon Leuer. The deal was essentially a salary dump that gets the Grizzlies out of the luxury tax, putting them approximately $2.2 million under the threshold. Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace admitted that there were financial motivations behind the trade, and also explained why Memphis pulled the trigger on this trade now. “There are financial ramifications for the deal – the luxury tax territory isn’t something that any team takes lightly or wants to get into,” Wallace said. “Every year you’re a taxpayer and then eventually there’s a repeater tax down the road so you want to get out whenever you can. The deal also gives us more flexibility in the future in terms of the trade [exceptions] that we picked up. We picked up an [exception] for every player – Speights, Ellington and Selby – which allows us to do more in a trade. There are some potential basketball benefits.” HoopsWorld

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