The Grizzlies don't want to be the 98-pound weakling getting sand kicked in its face by other teams trying to make the playoffs.
That's why they pursued Leon Powe, a free agent power forward, who signed with the Grizzlies for the rest of this season. Powe, 27, who played in just 14 games this season for the Cavs, is coming off January knee surgery.
The Griz, with general manager Chris Wallace, became interested in Powe after he negotiated a buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers last week.
Powe arrived in Memphis on Wednesday and met with Wallace, who worked in the Celtics' front office when that franchise acquired Powe during the 2006 draft. Wallace believes there's some life left in Powe, who might be in uniform by Monday when the Grizzlies are at home against Oklahoma City after playing at Dallas on Sunday.
"He was a significant player a couple of years ago on a championship team," Wallace said earlier this week while acknowledging interest in Powe, who picked the Grizzlies over the Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks and Miami Heat.
Powe, a member of the Boston Celtics' 2008 championship team, was paid $915,852 by Cleveland this season.. He will cost the Grizzlies about $200,000, but Wallace is confident that Powe is another missing piece for Memphis to make the playoffs without the injured Rudy Gay.
He sees Powe as someone who can defend both the power forward and center positions, and score in the post with his nearly 7-3 wingspan.
Powe averaged 6.3 points and four rebounds while shooting 52 percent in his five NBA seasons. However, Powe has appeared in just 34 games the past two seasons. His best year was the 2008-09 season, when Powe averaged 7.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and played in a career-high 70 games with Boston.
HORNETS 98, GRIZZLIES 91: Memphis led by as many as 12 points in the first half Friday night at FedExForum and looked in control, especially after Hornets' starting forward David West exited with a sprained ankle. But a 14-2 Hornets' run, keyed by point guard Chris Paul (who had 23 points and 14 assists), pulled New Orleans into a 45-45 tie at the half. Neither team could really pull away late and ultimately the difference was nobody for the Grizzlies besides F Zach Randolph (20 points, 10 rebounds) could make an offensive play in the final five minutes. For instance with 34.1 seconds left and the Grizzlies trailing 93-91, Marc Gasol missed both free throw attempts on a two-point shot opportunity. While Memphis kept missing chances to cut the New Orleans lead, the Hornets didn't return the favor as they moved a full game ahead as 7th place team in Western Conference over the 8th place Griz.
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