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If the Grizzlies don’t want Xavier Henry . . .

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Published: August 17, 2010

The Memphis Grizzlies selected Xavier Henry with the 12th pick of the draft.  He’s still unsigned.  Rookie salaries are set by the CBA, but teams may offer anywhere between 80% to 120% of that set value.  Since the CBA has gone into place, every rookie but one has gotten 120% of the set value guaranteed.  The Grizzlies are trying to tie the “extra” 20% to performance bonuses.

There is such a thing as fiscal sanity.  I respect that, particularly with the travails the Hornets have gone through the last couple years while trying to find it.  This, however, qualifies as fiscal insanity.  I don’t care if it seems reasonable to tie what could be deemed as ‘extra’ salary to incentives.  If every rookie that enters the league gets the maximum salary they are able to get, then it’s not extra salary, it’s a fair salary.

There are studies about this phenomenon.  If you offer one brother $1.00 to do a very simple chore, and then offer the other brother only fifty cents, despite the fact that the chore is simple, and probably not even worth that much, they will refuse to do it.  Fairness.

So here’s a fair deal I’d love to see:  The Hornets call up Memphis and offer next year’s first round pick for Xavier Henry.  Hell, then toss in the million dollars the Grizzlies are trying to save with the maneuver.  That’s right, we’re talking about 1 million dollars, spread out over four years.  I’m not about to begrudge Henry, with his sweet shot and oozing potential, the same amount of cap space that we paid Devin Brown.  Are  you?

This is exactly the sort of thing the Hornets should be doing as they build for the future.  Henry’s already an exceptional shooter and shows good potential as a defender.  He could easily form a young, dynamic three-guard rotation with Paul and Thornton – all of whom can shoot with range, and if Henry develops, drive and score.

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