Via Chris Tomasson at FanHouse comes an interview with unhinged Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley. Heisley, of course, is the man who had his two first round picks hold out longer than any other rookies in the league due to being unwilling to pay the industry standard 120% of the rookie salary scale that just about every new draftee is offered. He defended that stance by saying he’d never read the collective bargaining agreement until that summer. Yikes.
Anyway, Heisley went ahead with the Hasheem Thabeet – Shane Battier deal even though he thinks that Thabeet could still turn into a star.
“I don’t know whether it’s a mistake (having drafted Thabeet),‘’ Heisley said. "I look at (giving up Thabeet) with great concern. … I think Houston needs a good center and I think that Thabeet could come back to haunt us. … Absolutely, it’s hard for us (to trade Thabeet). It’s extremely hard. … If he develops, he’s going to be a big factor in this league and we might be eating our words.’’
So, I guess that would be a ringing endorsement if it was from an owner who was less married to the pick. Heisley took a lot of heat in passing up Tyreke Evans and Ricky Rubio for Thabeet.
Another interesting tidbit raised by the article is that Memphis traded for Battier because he’s very popular in the area, and they hope to re-sign him. It’s a good read all-around if you’re looking for more knowledge on Houston’s new man in the middle.