MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Just a day after the trade that sent guard Courtney Lee packing to Charlotte, the newest Memphis Grizzlies made their Bluff City debut on the practice court with their new team.
Big man Chris Anderson, 'The Birdman' acquired from Miami, and swingman P.J. Hairston from Charlotte have the task of fitting in with a solid group that's been to the playoffs 5 straight years.
In giving up Lee, the Grizzlies lose a fairly efficient 3-point shooter on an expiring $5-Million dollar contract that would've made him a free agent at the end of this season.
C-Lee was averaging 10 points a game, hitting 37 percent from 3, and almost 46 percent from the floor overall.
With Hairston, the Grizzlies get a burly 6'6", 230 pound swingman who doesn't mind roughing it up down low, but is very streaky from long range. The second year pro, who was the first ever D-League star to be drafted in the NBA's First Round, is averaging 6 points and almost 3 rebounds a game. He's hitting just 31 percent beyond the arc, but those numbers have been trending up lately.
"Like I said, if I find my niche and get in a rhythm and everything clicks, I would love to be here the rest of my career if that's what it takes," Hairston said.
The Birdman, is a 6'10" presence in the paint who can be a defensive shot blocker and a good set up man around the rim offensively. He's, very likely, a stopgap for the injured Marc Gasol, and will be a free agent at season's end. For now, he's excited to be in Memphis.
"You know for this team, this organization--as successful as they are--for me to come in and contribute with the things I can bring to the team is a good move for me," Andersen said.
The Best part of this deal is the 4 second round draft picks. With just one protected, the Grizzlies now have more sorely needed assets to use in the trade game or on draft night in June.
The Grizzlies get back in action on the court Friday night against Minnesota at FedExForum.