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We’re down to the final segment of our 3 on 3 Season In Review. If you haven’t already, check out Check out Part 1Part 2Part 3 & Part 4 also. Closing out the game will be yours truly (Lee Eric Smith), Matthew Noe & rookie sensation John Hugar. Here we go!

Tony Allen’s 2012 season was . . .

Lee Eric Smith: Whelming. Not overwhelming like last year, or underwhelming. Just whelming. And that’s kind of disappointing actually. Last season, Tony Allen was able to take over games with his defense — the same way that a LeBron or Kobe could take over a game offensively. He just didn’t seem to do that as much this season, and that’s due in no small part to his knees. O.J. picked up his game defensively, which cut into Tony’s playing time also. But I hope that with a full summer to rest up, a training camp and days off to rest those knees, we see Tony back to his smack-himself-on-the-butt swagger. NOTE: He’ll be in a contract year . . . so I’m betting he’ll be extra motivated.

Matt Noe: Another Tony Allen season. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Value for the dollar, his contract is easily top five in the NBA. His knees are the concern. This guy goes through more ice baths than a man who’s just finished a walk on the surface of the sun.

John Hugar: A revelation. Always a hard-working guy and a solid defender, but this year he was just ridiculous. He became the best perimeter defender in the league, and one of the few players who are actually fun to watch playing defense. I think the injury was effecting him a bit in the playoffs, but next year, once he’s healthy, he should be amazing once again.”

If the Grizz bring back only one free agent from the 2012 squad, it should be . . .

Lee: I’m going to be a complete homer and go with Gilbert Arenas. Okay, fine. I wrote the blog that inspired Chris Wallace to bring Arenas to Memphis. My reasoning is this: Despite his relative lack of use in the postseason, he showed flashes of being the kind of backup PG we want. I think his lack of performance had more to do with conditioning & knee soreness, as well as trying to learn Hollins’ system on the fly. With a summer to get back into NBA shape, a full training camp and a clear role, I still think he could fill that role nicely. But it won’t be just a basketball decision, will it? And that’s where Gil’s amnestied contract still makes him a fairly cheap pickup — leaving more room under the cap to fill other needs. HeisWallHoll is all about shopping the bargain bin, and again, if you could pick up a player with Gil’s resume & skill set for pennies, why wouldn’t you?

Matt: Arthur. If he doesn’t count for this discussion, then Haddadi. Hamed understands what’s expected of him, and one day, he will average more rebounds per minute than fouls per minute (that’s a joke, sort of).

John: Marreese Speights, He played extremely well at times this season, and was a huge part of why the Z-Bo injury didn’t ruin the entire season. He has one of the most reliable jump shots I’ve seen, and he’s capable of putting up big numbers. My guess is, with Z-Bo healthy all year, Speights would be coming off the bench, and could potentially be the leader of the second unit. He’s a guy who we know can score, and can provide instant energy/offense.

This offseason, The Grizzlies should focus on . . .

Lee: Getting healthy. I still can’t beat this feeling that we have all the pieces in place, they just need to be healthy for a full season. I doubt we’ll be able to keep Speights, Arthur, Haddadi, Mayo & Cunningham. If I had to choose two of those guys, I’d go with Speights and Arthur. I’m also hoping they’ll work on developing Josh Selby’s game, and of course, the search for shooters continues. But I maintain that when all our guys are healthy and have time to gel, this squad is right there with San Antonio and OKC.

Matt: Finding guys who can shoot three-pointers competently. PERIOD. Whoever it is, wherever they can find them. It just can’t continue to be such a big hole in the offense if the Grizzlies intend to make another deeper playoff run.

John: Keeping Speights, and adding a backup point guard. Actually, the second part is the really big one. Pargo, Selby, and even Arenas could never really handle running that second unit. Whenever Conley went off the court, you cringed a little bit because you knew whoever was running the show was probably going to struggle. In general, making sure the Grizzlies have a solid second unit should be the top priority.


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14 Responses to 3 on 3: Season In Review (Part 5)

  1. JoelNo Gravatar says:

    What Lee said about Arenas is a very good point. Arenas did have to learn on the fly, and although he is known for having a VERY High Basketball IQ, time is what he needs to get into our system. I think Gilbert is still a great player, and all he needs is a team to believe in him, if the Grizz do that, I think he will bounce back and be a Fantastic backup PG. Also aside from getting a 3 point threat, which I have been stressing for a few weeks, I think we should really try to keep Mo Speights, he is a blue collar “Bull Dog” type like TA, he was fnatastic this year and he deserves to stay with us. I like the rest of our FA’s, Arthur, Haddadi,and Cunningham, but in reality I think we will be able not be able to keep them all. Hadadi is a very good player, he just needs to build up some more self confidence, the man is 7’3 and has a shooters touch, he is going to keep getting better and will be a good choice for short spurts to give Marc a rest. DA is a huge question mark, but I like to give guys the benefit of the doubt. I believe he has been working hard to get back into being healthy, and if he did not lose his Spring, we should try to keep him. Dante, Man i Love this guy, another scrappy, High energy player, if we can get him back for a relativly inexpensive price, we should. But honestly, the first thing I think we need to Address is our lack of a dead eye shooter, if we have a long range threat, it opens the lane and lets Mike, Rudy, Marc, and
    Z-BO tear up the lane. And when the D collapses, one quick pass to a wing or a corner and BAM, they instantly regret leaving our 3 point specialist open.

  2. Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks, Joel!

    I’d add that Dante is signed for another year, so there’s a decent chance he’ll be around in case Darrell isn’t.

    One of the quietly brilliant moves by the Grizz front office is that they have all these guys on RFA contracts, so they can have other teams kind of set market value for them. Or, alternately, if you have guys like O.J. or even Marresse, who want to be unrestricted free agents, they’d opt in for that final year — meaning we get to keep the team intact, with players who are extra motivated to perform. All that, while keeping the salaries in check, relatively speaking.

    I would be for doing that. If you did that, you’d give this team one more run together. If they didn’t go deep into the playoffs, you’d likely be looking at a roster shakeup anyway, right at the time when you’d have a lot of expiring contracts to either trade or simply have cap space in the 2013 free agent market.

  3. MattNo Gravatar says:

    I am an outsider looking in but here is what I see with Memphis:

    1) they lost in the first round to a team who got swept 4-0 in the second round;

    2) they will be a luxury tax team unless they move a big contract and their owner has said they will not be a luxury tax team;

    3) Gasol is not going anywhere, Conley does not make enough money to make a difference, Randolph (when healthy) is the heart and soul of the team and will never return close to fair value in a trade, Gay is the player left;

    4) no back up PF/C next year and litte 3pt shooting on the roster for next year.

    So with an outside point of view given, what do you say about trading Gay to Toronto?

    Raptors draft pick (likely 8), Ed Davis, and James Johnson.

    In a deep draft (no sure stars but quality players) you get a likely rotational player. Ed Davis can play the backup PF/C much like Speights/Arthur. James Johnson is Josh Smith-lite. The Grizzlies are off the hook for $16.5M to Gay next year.

    The trade puts Memphis about $10M under the cap and about $8M below the luxury tax with qualifying offers issued to Mayo/Arthur/Speights which would allow the Grizz to use their exceptions to address depth and 3point shooting.

    So what do you think as a Memphis fan?

    • RfoxNo Gravatar says:

      Bad trade in my opinion – the team needs someone that can grow (potentially) to fill the void that Randolph’s decline over the next few years will bring.

      Gay is likely the best bet to go but that means the Grizz need to find a 3 that can shoot to replace him.

      but I wouldn’t trade him for spare parts, I’d take a shot at Tyreke Evans who can play 2, 1 or 3 and has the upside that nobody else on the roster has.

      I’d have to look at the Kings’ roster but if you can just save the money on Gay that puts guys like Ray Allen or Nick Batum in play (or Jamal Anderson etc.) and that could really help round out the roster.

      and FWIW I’d lean towards keep Arthur

      • MattNo Gravatar says:

        You’re only going to make a push for any big free agent if you renounce Mayo, Speights, and Arthur. The luxury tax is the problem facing Memphis.

        Sacramento would be interesting. Evans for Gay and the Grizz can use their exceptions to make a run at shooters. The question becomes does the cash-strapped Maloof’s take on Gay at $52M over the next 3 seasons?

        • OinkyNo Gravatar says:

          did you not hear Heisley on the radio the other day? He clearly stated that he would go over the cap for the right guy (when talking about Lebron), so enough of this crap about the Grizz having to stay under the cap. From what I heard from the best owner in sports is that he wants to win, and WIN NOW.

          • MattNo Gravatar says:

            The salary cap and the luxury tax are two different things. There is a $12M dollar difference. Salary cap is $58M. Luxury tax is a tad over $70M. Every dollar over tax is two dollars – $3M contract becomes $6M.

            I wouldn’t ask the question without merit:

            “Heisley said it’s too soon to predict what moves, if any, that the team will make to improve the roster.

            He did emphasize, though, that the franchise isn’t in position to add much salary.

            The Griz have big contracts committed to Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. They have Mike Conley on a modest long-term deal, and will have to make similar tough decisions on several free agents this summer.

            “We can’t be in the luxury tax business,” Heisley said. “We’ve got to make some financial decisions. That’s without question.”


    • Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

      Dude you’re just sick of Rudy Gay killing your team with last second shots. Get over it …. you don’t have a single player worth trading Rudy for.

      • MattNo Gravatar says:

        Straight up? You are absolutely, 100% correct.

        However, the scenario I gave was not a 1 for 1 trade; it was 2 young players who are capable of being rotational players and a mid-range lottery pick that will most likely be 8th (wait a second, wasn’t Rudy Gay an 8th pick?). The real issue here is the financial flexibility – which outside of Sacramento – no other team can offer prior to July 1st (btw, July 1st is when the luxury tax bill is due and as of now Memphis is a tax payer so you can guarantee another trade is coming to ensure Memphis gets under the tax and gets their piece of the revenue sharing pie).

        A trade of Rudy Gay would NOT be just for Ed Davis, James Johnson, and 8th pick. It would also be for the players kept (Mayo, Speights, Arthur) or signed-&-traded (assets returned) plus use of mid-level exception (i.e. shooters so desperately in need of) because, as Heisley has made clear, the Grizzlies are not going to be tax payers.

        Anyways, I think my answer was received here. No to the trade. Unfortunately when a move is made (whatever it is and with whatever team) it appears the few posters around here will not have an understanding of the reasoning and motivation behind it from the perspective of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

  4. MSF10710No Gravatar says:

    I’m a complete basketball novice, so my opinion isn’t worth much, but I wanted to say one thing in favor of keeping Arenas. There were a few moments when we first got him where the younger players were kind of hopping all over the place, and he seemed to quickly be able to assess the situation and calm them down where we made better plays. Also, the gawd awful 3 point shooting picked up a little in regular season after he came in. I’m not sure he was offering any pointers, but I’d like to think so.

    And I just love Speights and Cunningham.

  5. Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

    I have to agree with Lee about Gilbert Arenas … the guy can still play, we just didn’t have the time to make it happen this season.

    Priority #1 should be — figuring out how to play Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph together. If it isn’t natural and doesn’t happen … then we need to ship one of them out.

    We also need a 1 or 2 that can shoot long-range, handle the ball and make sound decisions (which is a healthy, full offseasoned Gilbert Arenas) because our front court is strong enough to get their shots if there’s someone keeping the defense honest on the outside.

  6. Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

    By the way I have to give some honest blog criticism here …

    If you’re doing the 3 on 3 bit … please give us more than two generalized sentences or one run-on sentence.

    Lee is making a few of you guys look disinterested and short-minded.

  7. Red ColemanNo Gravatar says:

    “Tony Allen’s 2012 season was . . .”
    Typical TA…which is to say that it was maddeningly entertaining. I haven’t so thoroughly enjoyed a more mecurial player since we had “The Bonzi” gracing our locker room. He’ll make a great defensive play…and then blow the easy layup. Or he’ll make the layup….and then touch the ball as it comes through the net, incurring a technical foul. I can understand why Coach Hollins is hesitant to rely upon him, but I think we can all agree that the team is better when he is on the floor.

    “If the Grizz bring back only one free agent from the 2012 squad, it should be . . . ”
    Hamed Haddadi. Just kidding. Given the financial limitations, I think the easy answer is Marreese Speights. He was a solid contributor all season, capable of playing both post positions and hitting midrange jumpers. Big bodies are a dime a dozen, but talented, big bodies are worth hanging onto.

    “This offseason, The Grizzlies should focus on . . .”
    A guard who can hit three-pointers. Beyond re-signing some (but not all) of their own free agents, this is the most pressing issue facing them. I think it is still too early to give up on Josh Selby as a backup PG. He was a Top 5 player in the country in high school, and I think he still has what it takes to play at this level. So, they need perimeter shooting — preferably from a SG/SF who can defend a lamp post at the very least.

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