Two weeks ago, the Memphis Grizzlies and Boston Celtics completed a relatively inconsequential trade that sent Donte Green to the Cs while the Grizzlies received center Fab Melo in return. After news that came out on Friday, though, the deal seems even more meaningless than it already did initially.
On Friday it was announced that the Grizzlies had waived the 23-year-old center, per the reports from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Though Melo is a young player that could eventually have an impact for an NBA team, the Grizzlies’ decision to waive him shouldn’t surprise anyone at all.
First and foremost, the deal will save Memphis $1.3 million in the upcoming season. Ever since the Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay in the middle of last season, staying below the luxury tax and maintaining a solid salary cap situation has been one of their chief concerns. This decision helps them in that regard.
Secondly, it’s worth mentioning that Melo was going to see minimal minutes, if he was going to play at all, with the Grizzlies. Playing behind Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol and the steady Kosta Koufos, there wasn’t much room on the roster for Melo’s services.
More than the money and Memphis’ rotation, though, Melo simply isn’t a player that seems like he belongs in Memphis. Though Melo is largely touted (if you can say he’s touted at all) for his potential as a shot-blocker and defender, something that would fit in with the Grizzlies’ style of play, he’s also been called lazy and had questions raised about his work-ethic. That’s very un-Grizzlies.
Memphis is a team that has developed an identity as a blue-collar, hard-working team in the league. Blue-collar and hard-working are two descriptions that have probably never been used in regard to Melo. More than the financial aspect, Melo wasn’t fit for the grit-and-grind Grizzlies. For that reason, no one should be surprised that he’s gone.
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