Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins has not had much to say about the Rudy Gay trade but, based on what he did say, he does not seem too happy.
We have gotten plenty of reaction over the past few days on the blockbuster trade sending Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors. Many people seem to think the Memphis Grizzlies made out pretty well in the deal, getting a solid veteran replacement for Gay in Tayshaun Prince and a talented youngster on a cheap contract in Ed Davis.
But what does Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins think?
While Hollins has not had much to say on the topic, it can be inferred from these quotes to Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal that he's none too pleased:
"We're in a small market and I understand the economics of being in a small market."
"Rudy Gay has been a big part of our success ... I wish him the best."
Hollins, if you recall, spoke out in a radio interview about trading Gay a couple of weeks ago when the rumors started to really heat up. The coach defended his now former player against the analytics crowd that insisted it would not be a bad thing to ship the small forward out of town:
"The reality is that we have a very versatile small forward that is 6'9. There aren't many guys out there like that. He can post up, shoot from the perimeter [and] he can attack the basket. He defends LeBron James, he defends Kevin Durant and all these guys that are tall, and strong, and quick and athletic. We don't have another player on our roster with that versatility, and most teams don't. That's the bottom line," Hollins said.
In that same interview, Hollins went on a bit of a rant against analytics, citing the fact that sometimes people get too hung up on stats when judging impact. While he said there's a place for them, they should not be the "be all end all" when making decisions.
Of course, the most interesting thing about these comments is that the Grizzlies had just hired ESPN stats guru John Hollinger as VP of Basketball Operations. Hollinger has already made his mark on the team with the recent deals they have made and, according to his own metrics, Memphis is three wins better after the Gay trade.
But Hollins is not so sure about that. Asked whether the team would be worse going forward, he gave a rather non-committal answer: "Time will tell."
UPDATE: The Oklahoman published a more colorful quote from Hollins: "When you have a champagne taste, you can't be on a beer budget."