clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

So...Which Free Agents Are Coming Back For the Grizzlies Next Season: Part One The "Starters"

New, comments

This season Grizz Nation learned to embrace the weird. The off season might be an even longer, stranger trip.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

So the season is over as we know it, and the end to a strange season may be the prelude to an even stranger off season, especially with new roster players.  Remember that last summer the Grizzlies only added three players (Matt Barnes, Brandan Wright, and Jarell Martin).

The Grizzlies then proceeded to play this season with an NBA record 28 players.

Now, there are eight players that are either free agents, have team options, or in one case has a non-guaranteed season. So the staff here at GBB got together and decided to rate our confidence in whether or not this player would be back next season.

Mike Conley

Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

Last Season's Salary: $9.6 mil

Staff Confidence: 88% certain

Joe Mullinax: 90%. Was at 95%, but his comments at the last media availability shook me a bit. But Memphis can overpay most, and that's the most likely end to this.

Matt Hrdlicka: 93% his comments yesterday shook me so I decreased my % from 95% to 93%

Joe Witherwax: 80% I was a lot more comfortable before yesterday. I think the most alarming thing was his commentary about the direction of the organization even without the injuries. That said, I think he wants to be here and if the Grizzlies can get some upgrades in free agency, he'll be back. They've struck out before though, and the rest of the league will have a lot of cap space too. There's more room for doubt here than I'd like.

Austin Reynolds: 75% Comments were a little concerning, and Conley also wants to win, and the Grizzlies roster isn't quite as conducive to winning as it used to be.

Kevin Yueng: 90%. Feeling pretty good. Wouldn't admit it if I wasn't.

Wes George: 90%. Unless the Grizzlies try to low-ball him with an offer considerably below the full max, I think he's back. He and Marc are just too close.

Corban Ford: 95% The Grizzlies need him and can pay more money. End of story.

Matty B: 90%  I like that he's at least saying that he wants to see the plan going forward before he resigns. But he took a pay cut before to stay here, and I don't see it happening again.

Vince Carter

Status: Last Year of Contract, but the money is not guaranteed until after the season begins.

Last Season's Salary: $4.1 mil

Staff Confidence: 52.5%

Corban Ford: 65-70%. He's definitely slowed down (lol it's obvious at this point) but he had a great playoff series personally and showed that he has at least a little left in the tank, possibly as a fringe rotation player.

Wes George: 60%. He's old and rickety, but on a pretty cheap contract. Still, the Grizzlies could add a bit more room towards a big swing in free agency by waiving him and using the stretch provision to lessen the impact of his guarantee. I think the team values his leadership and presence enough to warrant bringing him back.

Kevin Yeung: 45%. Cutting him saves just over $2 million, which might come in handy at some point in free agency. Sort of think cutting him is a last resort, though. It's not too hard to save $2 million, and Carter's deal isn't guaranteed until January anyway, which might even be useful during the season. Nobody's in any rush to see this dude cut though, right?

Austin Reynolds: 60% Sounds like he wants to keep playing, and this season went much better for him than the previous one.

Joe WItherwax: 40% I think the plan on the front end was to buy out the partially guaranteed third year.  He had a couple of good months post-All Star, following a pretty mediocre year and a half.  I think it depends entirely on how many wings the Grizz bring in and how much they need that cap space.

Matt Hrdlicka: 56% his salary is half guaranteed on Jan 1st 2017, so unlike Lance, he can be cut/stretched if MEM needs the cap space, or held over into the season for salary matching in trades.

Joe Mullinax: 49%- He showed he can still play when needed, but his cap hit limits flexibility some.

Matty B: 40% Can't help but feel he may ask to be waived or traded so he can go somewhere that's closer to winning a title.  Like...I could see him in a Spurs jersey next season.  Yeah...I know...

Matt Barnes

Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

Last Season's Salary: $3.5 mil

Staff Confidence: 18%

Joe Mullinax: 5%. I think he genuinely enjoyed his time in Memphis, and he was a better player for the Grizzlies than most (not me, I thought he'd be solid) expected. Certainly had flaws/areas of struggle, but was a contributor to making the playoffs. All that being said, he wants to be on the west coast and chasing a title. I'd expect a return to the Warriors or Clippers to be in his future. Memphis would have to overpay to keep him, and I'm not sure they're interested in that.

Joe Witherwax: 25% He has a strong pull to LA and though the fans slowly came around, there's not a ton of love here. He's also aging and already has a limited skillset. That said, Joerger has mentioned bringing him back; he played hard, and he fit well with the locker room by all accounts.

Austin Reynolds: 20% Yuck.

Wes George: 30%. Entirely dependent on how little money he's willing to take. The Grizzlies might want him back, but only on a bargain basement deal.

Corban Ford: 30%. If he signs on the cheap then I think he comes back to the Grizzlies.

Matty B: 0%  No way he's not playing for a team on the West Coast if they will have him. When thinking of his performance this season, remember that he was supposed to be a backup and got forced into a role he was not intended due to injury. He would fit well in that role here or somewhere else.

Chris Andersen


Status: Unrestricted Free Agent


Last Season's Salary: $5 mil


Staff Confidence: 3%

Corban Ford: 0%. He should retire. It's been a good run for the Birdman, but that run is over.

Wes George: 0%. Time for the Birdman to fly off into retirement.

Kevin Yeung: 5%. Meh. I'm kind of fatigued from watching so much Birdman to close the season and clearly he isn't that good anymore, but not the end of the world either if they bring him back. He's a cool dude.

Austin Reynolds: 5% He's old and just not very good anymore.

Joe Witherwax: 5% I could see him being an end-of-the-bench guy on the veteran minimum but that depends on the roster. Similar to Barnes, played hard and seemed to fit in fine.

Matt Hrdlicka: 6% on a minimum deal

Joe Mullinax: 5% Haddadi 2.0

Matty B: 0%  I don't think he retires. But I feel like he's a guy that heads off to China when he is not signed, plays well, and ends up on a vet minimum deal on a contender that needs a third center next March.

Stay tuned for part two: The "Leftovers", coming out later today