Former St. John's Red Storm guard DJ Kennedy has been traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, sources say. After a short stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the former Johnnies stand out is on the move.
Kennedy was dealt on Wednesday night by the Cavs in exchange for young guard Jeremy Pargo and a future second round draft selection. Pargo, a former Gonzaga Bulldog, appeared in 44 games for the Grizzlies in 2011-12 while averaging just 2.9 points per game.
Memphis now receives a hard working guard in Kennedy who is still searching for a big break in the NBA. After playing four full seasons with St. John's, he signed a contract with Cleveland late during this past season. Kennedy saw significant time in two games in April, scoring 12 points in one of them against Washington.
At St. John's, Kennedy scored 11.7 points and pulled down 6.1 rebounds per game during his career. Always known as an exceptional rebounder despite his size and position, Kennedy is a well-rounded player who knows what it takes to contribute to a team's success in any role.
The Grizzlies, who lost a heartbreaking 7-game series to the Clippers in the first round of this year's playoffs, are still a team built to win. Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay, and Marc Gasol headline a squad that won 41 of its 66 games in 2011-12, and perhaps DJ Kennedy could play a relevant role for head coach Lionel Hollins in the future.
Kennedy stands as one of Steve Lavin's two St. John's products in the NBA. Moe Harkless was drafted fifteenth overall by the Philadelphia 76ers last month and recently inked his contract with the team.
Nothing is more important to a college program than the success of its former players at the next level. As Lavin found out at UCLA and is acting upon at St. John's, recruiting becomes easier and more effective when young high school athletes can see visible evidence that their dream can come true.
When he stepped onto the floor in a Cavaliers uniform in April, Kennedy's dream did finally come true. But now, he needs to maintain a career - and the next stop is Graceland.