Draft picks, trades, players opting in or out of contracts. It’s been a busy 24 hours.
I still cannot wrap my head around all of last night’s activity to determine who made moves that were good, bad, or otherwise, so I’ll just focus on the team you come here daily to read about: the Memphis Grizzlies.
#41 – Jamaal Franklin (SG – San Diego State)
#60 – Janis Timma (SF – BK Ventspils)
Darrell Arthur (PF) and #55 pick Joffrey Lauvergne (PF – KK Partizan) to Denver Nuggets
Kosta Koufos (F/C) to Memphis Grizzlies
Jerryd Bayless (G) picks up $3.1 million option for next season.
So what does all of that mean? Well, first and foremost, it means that the offseason is taking on a definitive shape finally. Much of the uncertainty has been removed after what has transpired over the last two days.
What do we know?
We know that Ed Davis will no longer be blocked from playing time by DA. We know that Bayless will be returning, giving the Grizzlies a combo guard who is able to be a scoring threat off the bench. We know that the front office nabbed a guy in Franklin that was rated a Top 20 player by some experts and that they had already given the nickname “The Grindson” to prior to the draft due to the similarity of his game to that of Tony Allen (The Grindfather) — although I like the other nickname I’ve heard “Evil Kawhi” even better. We know that the front office won’t worry about taking a player with local ties just to assuage the unrest among a vocal minority portion of the fanbase. Oh yeah…we know who the head coach is now, too.
What do we think?
We think that the Grizzlies will make good on their word: “Our plan is to find TA at 12:01 a.m. on Monday and make our pitch to keep him.” -Jason Levien. We think that, after Bayless picked up his extension and TA is re-signed, the Grizzlies will probably only have around $3 million to spend in free agency, which puts them out of the hunt for guys like Kyle Korver and J.J. Redick, or even a return of O.J. Mayo. We think that with a return of the same starting lineup and a bench of Tony Wroten, Bayless, Quincy Pondexter, Davis, and Koufos, along with Franklin, Jon Leuer and Donte Greene (non-guaranteed contract for each of the next two years), that gives them a roster of 13. They’ll evaluate Timma in Summer League, but it would be very surprising if he doesn’t stay in Europe for at least one more year. Barring another trade, there just isn’t a feasible way for them to bring in even a marginally well-known player. We think that Dave Joerger is being genuine when he states that he feels comfortable taking over this team based on his familiarity with them and his experience as a head coach. We think the Grizzlies could still use another swingman who is a legitimate perimeter shooter.
What do we expect?
We expect the Grizzlies to re-sign Tony Allen. We expect them to also sign another player in free agency, probably a shooter who can play SG/SF. We expect the gripes about the offseason moves to continue right up until Memphis wins three games in a row early next season and then it will subside…slightly. We expect the occasional trade rumor about Zach Randolph to continue, no matter what the front office says about it. We expect fans to react too strongly about Summer League performances. We expect the experts to continue their trend of underrating the Grizzlies’ chances in preseason predictions. We expect this team to feed off of all of the doubt and naysaying, and then use it as motivation. We expect Heart, Grit and Grind.