It appears as if we've gone from dreaming about the possibility of getting Ray Allen, Jason Terry or even Kirk Hinrich to now accepting that our newest free agent acquisition is likely going to be someone, well, underwhelming.
Now, with the Grizzlies having locked up both Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur they have lost the ability to use their tax-payer mid-level exception, which is $5 million per season. They now only have the ability to use their mini-mid-level, which is around $3 million per season. Which essentially means: no Lou Williams, no Courtney Lee, no Randy Foye, no... nothing.
The list of possible targets have no shrunk to, well, Willie Green and company.
I'm not knocking Green, I think he has nice value and he can step out and hit a three or two, but you have to admit this isn't the "going all-in" signing we were expecting from the Grizzlies.
According to Ron Tillery, the list of targets also includes a few familiar names we've tossed about this site from time to time:
"All the people we're talking to (now) have a track record," Wallace said. "Have they made all-star teams? No. But how many free agents out there have? We were involved with Ray (Allen). We offered him more money (than Miami). We were right there with Jason Terry. We've talked to a ton of people since this started."
Snubbed by Allen and Terry, and unable to get an audience with several other established players, the Grizzlies' road in free agency has narrowed with guards Willie Green, Jodie Meeks and Jordan Farmar now in their sights, according to sources.
The Griz are said to also have interest in guards Sonny Weems and Jerryd Bayless. Russian point guard Alexey Shved was off the Grizzlies' radar as of Monday with a source close to the situation insisting that a deal wouldn't get done.
Weems is an interesting player. I do like him, though I think his skill-set doesn't necessarily fit in terms of our "needs." He's a slasher, an athletic wing, and what we need is someone who can help stretch the court. That's not Weems.
Bayless I like, but it would seem like he can pull in more than $3 million elsewhere, no? Maybe I'm wrong, but his value reads much higher to me than the mini-MLE.
I think Meeks should be our top priority. I won't say I necessarily "love" Meeks, but the dude can definitely shoot. He made 1.5 threes per game last season on 36.5% shooting in just under 25 minutes. He also hit just north of 90% of his free throws. He doesn't do much else, other than try and create his own offense, but that's really what we need him to do. We need him to spot up and hit threes, we need him to get to the rim and draw fouls, we need him to be Jodie Meeks.
I know the names seem a bit underwhelming, but I think the only other possibility is a sign and trade, convincing a team who is over the cap to give us an asset in return for O.J. Mayo. There's really no specific target here, but we do know that the Celtics might be kicking the tires on this idea.
Other than that... Hey, Jordan Farmar, everyone!