What an offseason! So much money switching hands, so many players switching teams, and so many teams switching their makeup and/or identity. The Memphis Grizzlies were one of the more active teams this offseason. As such, a lot of moves were made, and a lot has to be evaluated. Let's check them out and give them a preliminary grade based off of the player's reputation, the fit of that player on the Grizz, and the contract that they were given.
#1 July 9th: Officially signed F Chandler Parsons to a max multi-year contract
The Contract: 4 years, $94 million dollars
The Grade: A-
The Lowdown: This has been covered at length in a number of great articles here at GBB, so I'm going to run through this briefly. Parsons is the first marquee free agent the Grizzlies have signed since...well, ever. He is a proven shooter and scorer, a great playmaker from the forward position, actually elite playing off the pick and roll/pop, the whole nine. In addition, the contract he signed was a good fit for the Grizzlies being that 1) no matter where he was going to go, he would likely command a max contract, and 2) this deal brings him right through to the end of his prime, at which point the Grizzlies could decide to re-sign him or let him walk. The only thing that really concerns me, like everyone else, about Parsons is his injury history, specifically his knees. With the way Parsons's last two seasons have ended, and the way the Grizzlies have had to endure injuries the past few seasons, one has to wonder if this truly is a match made in heaven. But hey, that's why they play the games.
#2 July 12th, 2016 Signed G Andrew Harrison and C Deyonta Davis to multi-year contracts. Waived G Tony Wroten
The Contract(s): Andrew Harrison 3 year deal (2016-2017 fully guaranteed, partially guaranteed next two years) Deyonta Davis 3 years $4 million dollars
The Grade: A
The Lowdown: I like these moves as it makes the the Grizzlies younger (something I've been hoping would happen for a while now), but in either case these were moves the Grizzlies needed to make in my eyes. Andrew Harrison gives the surprisingly thin backcourt of the Grizzlies a little bit of depth behind Baldwin Jr., and with his size I can see him swinging between PG, SG, and maybe even some SF. He combines that with a strong frame and an almost 6'9 wingspan to make an intriguing prospect who, at 21, can definitely grow and mature under the watchful eye of the veteran Grizzlies.
Like Chandler Parsons, Deyonta Davis and his game have also been covered pretty extensively here at GBB, but I'll break it down in a nutshell. Davis is a big man with good size (6-10 and a half), good wingspan (7-2 and a half), and who can not only run the floor and protect the rim, but also has good touch around the basket. With two veterans in Gasol and Randolph to learn under, I see Davis developing at a rapid rate these upcoming seasons.
As for Wroten, unfortunately I wasn't really a Wroten fan, I wish him the best of luck in his next stop though.
#3 July 13th Signed F James Ennis to a multi-year contract
The Contract: 2 years $6 million dollar deal
The Grade: A+
The Lowdown: I love me some James Ennis. from back when he was with the Heat up to now, he's been a lean, ultra athletic wing with a quickly developing outside game. I've seen flashes of scoring ability, long range prowess, and the ability to attack the rack and finish with authority. I definitely look forward to seeing what he can do for the Grizzlies with this opportunity, and I am already seeing a number of ways that he can play off of Conley. Next to Parsons, the two of them running a 3-4 screen and roll....OK, let's move on.
#4 July 15th Signed G Mike Conley to a max multi year contract
The Contract: 5 years $153 million dollar deal
The Grade: A+++
The Lowdown: This deal had to be done. Mike Conley is the leader of the Memphis Grizzlies, the heart, the soul, and the engine. Captain Clutch most definitely. He is a fearless penetrator, a great shooter, a steadying hand for the offense, and a solid playmaker. He is the best point guard the Grizzlies have ever had and their most important free agent this season. Now, with him locked up for the rest of his prime and almost certainly for the rest of his career, we can be happy in the knowledge that we have our floor general with us for this season and beyond. In an offseason of uncertainty, what a feeling.
In closing, I think we can all agree that of all the moves that the Grizzlies have made big and small, there have been no outright bad decisions. Some of these signings we may look at differently than others, but I think Chris Wallace has made the right decisions to get the Grizzlies back on track and firmly in place for a solid campaign this year. That looks quite clear to me.
Until next time Grizz fans, keep grinding.