An informant entered the visitors’ locker room to tell the Grizzlies
that Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis was sitting out their game
Wednesday night in Oracle Arena.
That turned out to be false: Ellis started despite having flu-like
symptoms. But Griz center Marc Gasol jokingly told O.J. Mayo that Ellis
must have "Mayo-itis."
Several Griz players laughed although Mayo didn’t think the mention of Ellis was very funny last month at the NBA’s trade deadline. If it is true that the Warriors turned down a Grizzlies offer that would have essentially swapped Mayo for Ellis, the guy wearing No. 32 in Beale Street Blue wants to understand why.
"We definitely need to keep this team together," Mayo said before the Grizzlies faced the Warriors. "It’s a young team. We all like each other. We’re playing well. Just when you get something good, why break it up? It doesn’t make sense. But that’s this business."
Memphis and Golden State first had mild conversations about Ellis and Mayo back in November. Talks cooled quickly, but they reportedly heated up again around mid-February.
One rumor had the Grizzlies trying to package No. 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet with Mayo. Both teams have since downplayed the speculation, insisting that the other was the aggressor even though discussions never got serious.
Mayo said his agent informed him about a potential deal, and he credited veteran teammates for keeping the ordeal in perspective.
"It’s part of the business," Mayo said. "I can’t imagine not being here (with Memphis). But it is what it is. I guess the team thought maybe Monta Ellis would be a better fit. I don’t know."
Griz owner Michael Heisley acknowledged communication between the franchises but refused to offer details in a recent interview with The Commercial Appeal.