Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Gasol, Black, Mavs

Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace doesn’t believe the moves the Rockets and Mavs have made the past couple of weeks would necessarily prompt him to respond with pickups of his own, as he said to Zack McMillin of The Commercial Appeal, who writes in a subscription-only piece. Still, recent reports have indicated that Memphis made a strong push to woo Josh Smith before he signed with the Rockets, asked the Celtics about Jeff Green, and expressed interest in Ray Allen.

“These are all very proven veterans and definitely should make their teams better,” Wallace said of Smith, Rajon Rondo and other newcomers to Western Conference contenders. “We’re happy with our group and we don’t think there’s any question that we can compete with these guys.”

Coach Dave Joerger believes the Rockets were wise to sign Smith and calls Houston’s trade for Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved an “underrated” move, observes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Marc Gasol isn’t looking forward to free agency this summer because of the gravity the choice will have on his life as a whole, as he explains to Ian Thomsen of NBA.com. “I’ve been already through one,” Gasol said, referring to his 2011 restricted free agency, “and I did not especially enjoy it. I don’t know how I’m going to feel in July. I really don’t. This is the next five years of my life and I’m going to go all in. Whatever team you play for, you’ve always got to feel like you represent that team, that you’ve got to play for it. Because that’s the way we grew up in Spain. You play for the city. You play for a way of doing things. It’s not about you. I do this for them. I play for the city, for the franchise or whatever. You’ve got to have that pride that comes with it.”
  • Rockets coach Kevin McHale, fresh off his contract extension, said the team will miss Tarik Black, whom Houston released Friday to clear a roster spot for Josh Smith, as Feigen writes in a separate piece. McHale said he told Black, who remains on waivers, that he’s confident that the rookie will find another NBA job.
  • Mavs point guard Devin Harris laments the departure of Brandan Wright, whom the team traded away in the Rondo swap, calling Wright his “security blanket” because of the readily available alley-oop chances he provided, notes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

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