Heading into the draft tonight, I decided to compile my own list of what the Grizzlies need and don’t need going into the 2017-18 campaign.
Since the Grizzlies don’t have any draft picks for this year (in any round), the way to acquire the assets they need will have to be through free agency and trades.
It’s important to note which Grizzly players will be free agents, leaving the chance that their position will be vacant. These players are: Tony Allen (SG/SF), Vince Carter (SF), Zach Randolph (PF), JaMychal Green (SF/PF), and Wayne Selden (PG/SG).
I’ll start with what the Grizzlies DO NOT need.
The Grizzlies’ front court is stacked. Marc Gasol will be anchoring at the center position, as he’s really the only true center Memphis has. Then currently on the roster there’s Brandan Wright (who I am a huge fan of), Deyonta Davis, and Jarell Martin. All three of those other options are younger (Wright is aging quickly), quicker, and more dynamic players. Though none of them have a ton of experience under their belt, they all have promising upsides that can compete at an NBA level.
Plus, odds are the Grizzlies are going to bring back Zach Randolph or JaMychal Green, if not both, so that adds another strong presence down low. I don’t mind signing either of the aforementioned, but if I had to choose just one, I’m sticking with the younger and stronger jump shooter, JaMychal Green.
Memphis doesn’t need to add anything to the front court, as there are plenty of options already that can contribute. They also don’t need a starting point guard or small forward. Mike Conley is the man, already a Grizzly legend. I don’t have to explain much on that one. But Chandler Parsons is going to be the starting small forward on this team. As Grizzly fans, we have to just accept it.
I know there are unfounded rumors of trading him. We all are calculating which teams would be open to absorbing him, but it’s not going to happen. The Memphis front office paid a lot of money to bring him in, and they’ll give him a chance to prove himself when (if?) he’s fully healthy. I believe he will have a productive year, giving the Grizzlies a spark on the offensive end and holding his ground on defense. Let’s give him a chance.
Now on to pieces the Grizzlies do NEED.
Yep, we all know: a back-up point guard. Andrew Harrison isn't cutting it. Move on from him and try something different. I like the idea of trading for a draft pick or someone that was drafted tonight. Bringing in a young talent that the Grizzlies can mold into the player they need is appealing. We can give up both Harrison and Wayne Selden Jr. (team option would need to be opted into) to get a solid piece so Conley can take a break every now and then. Make it happen Wallace.
Secondly, as it has been since the formation of the Grizzlies, they need a shooting guard. I actually like Troy Daniels a lot. He’s lethal from long range, but is such a liability on defense. In other words, we can’t use him as the starter. He could be a great 6th man and back-up SG, but we need someone that can compete on both ends. Bring in a veteran that can play 20 minutes a game.
And lastly, we need a small forward off the bench that can do…anything. Vince Carter might be coming back and I’m happy with that. But let’s be honest, he is 75 years old. He can shoot a little bit. But he is slow, his bounce is gone, and he just can’t play that many minutes. So then what are we left with?
James Ennis III. Oh gosh, he’s just not a good option. Sure, he had a few shining moments, but we can’t give him the responsibility of the 25 minutes a game at the small forward position. Consider who he would be playing against in the Western Conference on a regular basis.
The Grizzlies have to bring in someone that can score off the bench. I like what Kevin Yeung said a couple of days ago: the Grizzlies aren’t winning a title anyway, so bring in a team that will at least be entertaining in the regular season. James Ennis isn’t within that realm.
Stay tuned to Grizzly Bear Blues all night for draft coverage. There will be a ton of changes between now and the draft. Let’s hope the Grizzlies are involved in some way.
Free agency list provided by hoopsrumors.com.