So many of you know Keith G. Edwards Jr. and I happen to be best friends writing for the same site. It would not surprise you to find out, then, that our texting thread on our phones contains a vigorous coverage of all things Grizzlies, both news and speculation. We talk through scenarios, pretend we are the GM(s) and make moves that we "know" would work out for the best. Things are pretty busy for the Grizzlies this offseason, so without cutting into front page importance, I thought I would add to the chaos with our take on the changes Memphis should make before the 2013 season gets started. Below are snippets of our texts from the past week.
Keith: Give me your top 10 guys you want to target in the offseason (sends me picture of all available free agents on a yellow legal pad).
Ryan: (Response with a similar picture of the exact same list I had done earlier in the day #bestbians) I have 15. No particular order on this list and some one is a trade candidate: J.J. Redick, Martell Webster, Eric Maynor, Jose Calderon, Mike Dunleavey, Gary Neal, Jason Collins, Kyle Korver, Earl Clark, Metta World Peace, Danny Granger, Greg Oden, Devon Harris, Matt Barnes, D.J. Augustin.
Keith: MWP has a team option, right? Priority number one, once we figure out our coach and resign Tony...so I guess priority number three...is to move [Tayshaun] Prince.
Ryan: Player option. 7.7 mil, wow that'd be awesome if he opted out.
Keith: Yeah it would! If we can move Prince for no added cost, we could have enough money to sign MWP and Redick. Still need a back up big and point guard though, which we could address through the draft or via Tony Wroten.
Ryan: From all favorable scenarios, it looks as though, minus any veteran minimum guys, we are only going to be able to get a PG OR a back up center. Which would you prefer?
Keith: Back up center. #freeWroten Keep in mind, we can go over the cap this year. We avoided repeater penalties, so this would be a clean slate year.
Ryan: I just have no idea how new management is going to operate so I'm just assuming we're staying around cap level.
Keith: Fair enough. Can you imagine a Mike/Tony/Q/JJ/Gasol small lineup?
Ryan: I don't think Q would be big enough to play the 4-spot. How about Mike/JJ/Q/Metta/Gasol. So many corner threes. Two guys in each Corner.
Keith: Q's probably not, just wanting to combat that Thunder lineup.
Ryan: (sends picture of above 2 shooters per corner play) I want Metta. Immediately.
Keith: So starting lineup could be Mike-TA-Metta-ZBo-Marc. Have Q and JJ, two 40+% three point shooters on the bench. Please, please Lord make this happen.
Ryan: Plus whatever you get in a Prince-Darrell Arthur trade.
Keith: I'm not 100% sure they move Arthur.
Ryan: If you want to move Prince (sigh) you'll have to include some other desirable piece. Or Ed Davis...Tay and Arthur for Derrick Williams and someone else.
Keith: No way they do that. I don't know you're probably right but I just think Prince has a good enough defense and name recognition that someone will give you a pick of some sort for him.
Ryan: I would prefer usable personnel in return. Can you do picks for players straight up? Aren't their salary obligations...How about this, Tay and Arthur for Al Harrington.
Keith: Ugh...what's his salary?
Ryan: $7.1 mil then $7.6 the next year. Back up big/center. Magic could be looking to move him with young talent on roster and Nerlens Noel as a potential pick.
Keith: Ugh...I don't like that. That would mean choosing between MWP/JJ. Plus I don't think this FO pays $7 mil for a back up center. I'd rather get MWP/JJ and sign a touch guy like Nazr Mohammed.
Ryan: Al's contract is a bad contract but we'd be sending $10M and getting back $7M. Making money. And imagine Al and Zach on the floor together. Rebound City.
Keith: Harrington is stretch guy. Likes the three ball.
Ryan: So he likes scoring. Last time I checked, WE NEED THAT.
Keith: Nazr shoved Lebron James! He can play for my team any day of the week...there has to be a better option, especially if we're giving up DA. We should be able to get a solid pick for both those guys with no salary required.
Ryan: (still stuck on Al Harrington) No I like this. You wouldn't have to choose. Mike-Wroten, TA-JJ, MWP-Q, ZBo-Big Ed, Gasol-Big Al. Who doesn't love the adorable moniker Big Ed and Big Al? Plus Leuer, Green and Reed that's projected at $78M.
(Later date)Ryan: Dallas looking to move out of 13th pick. Would you trade last two second rounders for that pick?
Keith: Who is projected to go then?
Ryan: Couple of role players, few centers, international guys.
Keith: Michael Carter Williams would be a solid backup. That's not just my Syracuse love talking, I've seen him at 10-11.
Ryan: But...Wroten. I think we're looking a SF or a center there.
Keith: Any chance Otto Porter falls that far? (No.) 13 is guaranteed salary and decently high for someone we don't know if they'll work out. Remember Xavier Henry? I don't want another failed draft pick.
Ryan: Guaranteed money IS a big deal.
Keith: I know that's why I'd have to be certain they wouldn't be a bust. A mock I'm looking at has MCW at 14, Kelly Olynyk at 15...don't want him...and Tim Hardaway Jr. at 23. We'd be reaching for him at 13, though he interests me.
(Conversation about how I think BJ Novak would be an interesting replacement for Seth Meyers as head writer and Weekend Update host on SNL & Keith mistakenly using the women's restroom at a children's fun center)
Keith: Tony Allen - 3 years, $18-20 million. Doable/fair/worth it?
Ryan: With a one dimensional player, even the best in the league, it's hard to justify over 6 million per year. He's probably earned it, especially from Memphis. I just don't see another team paying him $7M...so yeah, at 6.