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The landscape of the Southwest Division

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How do the Grizzlies fare against other division opponents this upcoming season?

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Now that most of the NBA free agency buzz has come to the end, it is time to look at the rest of the Western Conference Southwest Division. The Grizzlies made a few moves during the free agency period, but so did the other teams in the division. Lets take a look at some of the additions and subtractions of the rest of the division.

San Antonio Spurs

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs did not lose much this offseason. They lost guard Jonathon Simmons to the Orlando Magic on a three-year/$18 million deal. They were able to keep most of their core together, bringing back Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, and Paul Gasol. With Kawhi Leonard as a perennial MVP candidate, the Spurs should be just as good, if not better, than last year.

Houston Rockets

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets arguably improved the most in the division. They added Chris Paul in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers, sending Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, and a 2018 first-round pick to the Clippers. Now, they can pair Chris Paul, one of the most efficient point guards in basketball, with James Harden. Don’t count the Rockets out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes either. This team will be able to give the Spurs a run for their money this year.

New Orleans Pelicans

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Pelicans had a pretty quiet offseason. They re-signed guard Jrue Holiday to a deal and signed Rajon Rondo. They both will be able to play in the Pelicans starting lineup next season. The combination of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis was one to forget last season. Those two will have to figure out how to play with each other next season if they even want to sniff at a playoff spot in the West. The Pelicans are a team with some upside, but also with some potential to be one of the worst teams in the Western Conference.

Dallas Mavericks

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks are in the state of a rebuild. They drafted Dennis Smith Jr. out of North Carolina State with their first round pick, and he will likely be a real Rookie of the Year candidate early. They also revealed two gems last season with Yogi Ferrell and Seth Curry. Nerlens Noel’s status is still up in the air as he is a restricted free agent, but I expect the Mavericks to bring him back.

With how competitive the Western Conference is, expect the Mavericks to tank another year and stack some more young talent on their roster. The Mavericks could have a scary roster a couple years down the road.

Summary

While the Rockets got better with the sign and trade of Chris Paul, the Spurs, Pelicans and Mavericks didn’t get much better this offseason. The Grizzlies arguably stayed about the same as well. With the Grizzlies being one of the better teams in the NBA the past seven seasons, look for them to finish right smack in the middle of this division.

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