What Value Does Current Nets GM Of Minor League Basketball Operations Milton Lee Have?


The Memphis Grizzlies have reportedly asked permission to speak with Milton Lee, the Brooklyn Nets General Manager of Minor League Basketball Operations. Lee has been highly influential in constructing the Springfield Armor roster and coaching staff since 2011, and has demonstrated an advanced understanding of the D-League. So, what would be the value in bringing Lee aboard in Memphis?

In Milton Lee's first season as General Manager of Minor League Basketball Operations for the Nets, he helped the Armor reach the playoffs for the first time since it's inception in 2009. The team itself has won 27 more games in the last two seasons with Lee aboard, versus it's first two years (20 total wins). Lee's unique background has allowed him to succeed in overseeing basketball operations at the minor league level, and it appears other franchises have noticed.

This past season, the Springfield Armor had two noteworthy Call-Ups, Willie Reed (Memphis) and Kris Joseph (Brooklyn). Prior to this season, the franchise witnessed three Call-Ups including Dennis Horner, Jerry Smith and Jeff Foote. Before Lee assumed his current position, the franchise had just one Call-Up, JamesOn Curry in their inaugural season.

Call-Ups are not the only way to judge the success of a general manager in the NBADL, in fact, it's just a piece of the puzzle. But the emergence of Kris Joseph after being traded from the Maine Red Claws, was an example of the savvy, and steady eye for talent which Lee clearly has.

At the moment, it is unclear what exact role Memphis is considering for Lee, but given his background in the NBADL, one would think he could at least offer advice on efficient ways to building a stronger relationship between the Grizzlies and their NBADL affiliate Reno Bighorns.

It should be noted as well, that Lee has a background which would fit with the direction that Memphis is moving toward. The Grizzlies have made it clear that analytics will play an important role in the future of the franchise, and with their recent departure from Lionel Hollins, perhaps the club is ready to move all in? With Lee's Wall Street background its hard not speculate that this is the reason for Memphis reaching out.

However, as stated in Sam Amick's USA Today report, the decision to speak with Lee is more centered around the uncertain future of Chris Wallace, who is in the running for the Sacramento Kings general manager position. Regardless of which fashion Lee would potentially be utilized in Memphis, his knowledge of NBADL affairs would surely be tapped.

The Grizzlies share an affiliation with the Reno Bighorns, who stumbled a bit this past season and are currently without a head coach. Yet, the Bighorns are a more than adequate D-League affiliate for the Grizzlies to work with, and if Lee became apart of the equation in Memphis, the Bighorn roster would likely see even more Grizzlies assignment players than in previous seasons.

Lee has earned the right to be considered for potential NBA front office positions, and if Lee does in fact sync up with Memphis, it would be a logical match for both Lee and the Grizzlies moving forward.

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