Ok, so Toney Douglas is indeed, not the answer. With the trade deadline long and gone, it seems that the Grizzlies endeavors for a back-up point guard are now futile. So futile, in fact, that Toney Douglas, our midseason “like a trade” acquisition, has fallen out of the rotation in favor of Andrew Harrison, a guy that was on the opening night roster.
Recently, however, the Grizzlies $94 million dollar man suffered another knee injury that will likely shut him down for the season. This injury leaves the Grizzlies with one, maybe two “Small Forwards” on the roster. Only one of these small forwards is guaranteed to play significant minutes every night, and it is the 40 year old small forward, not the 26 year old, even though James Ennis figures to see his minutes increase with Chandler Parsons out indefinitely.
While Vince Carter has been recently making 40 seem like the new 20 with a slew of high-flying dunks, the more minutes he takes on, the tougher the toll on his body will be. James Ennis has competed admirably on both ends this season, even shooting a robust 39.6% from three-point range. It will be nice to see him gain his confidence back and get back in the fold, but can you guess what would be even better? Adding another SF(/PF) hitting at a near 40% clip from three!
That’s right. Omri Casspi is a career 36.9% three-point shooter, but over the past 3 years, including this year, Casspi is shooting 40.6% from three-point range. This has been Omri Casspi’s one and only job since entering the NBA, and he has done a hell of a job at it. He doesn’t offer much in terms of playmaking or defense, but I am a big believer that shooting is the premiere basketball skill; and it is possible to hide 1, or maybe even 2 below-average defenders if the effort is there and their shooting is impactful enough on the offensive end--in terms of actual makes and spacing the floor in general.
As his individual playmaking is not that impressive, over the last 3 years, excluding this one, with Casspi on the court, his team averages more assists per 100 possessions. He doesn’t check in performances such as the one below every night, but even just a fraction of this shooting can be a game changer on an already solid team. This is Omri doing what he does at his best. This is Peak Casspi.
If Casspi were to join the Grizzlies, it would be best served is he was in a bench role. I think he would be a perfect fit here because of his ability to stretch the floor and give ZBo even more room to work as the go-to scoring option off the oak. Playing devil’s advocate, one could argue that Randolph and Casspi could be cause for concern on defense, but I say that:
- Casspi has only been apart of one average defensive team his whole career(the rest of the teams were bottom of the barrel), so we should reserve judgement on that front.
- I believe that playing alongside Ennis and having Brandan Wright in the paint will spell some of these concerns, along with benches not being skilled enough to exploit the same match-up repeatedly. Even if the positive outlooks on the defensive end never comes to fruition, I believe it will be a deadly combination on the offensive end for opposing bench rotations to handle.
While our “mid-season acquisition” has fallen out of the rotation, the Grizzlies should not settle and should continue to look for ways to improve the roster, night and day. With the unfortunate injury to Parsons, they should be specifically looking to add another body to the wing rotation, preferably a shooter in Omri Casspi. According to Marc Stein, Casspi has received interest from the Grizzlies and the Clippers. So not only on the court, but even in the front offices, does the saying hold true-
Whoop that Clip.