The Memphis Grizzlies definitely had a type this summer. They chased after defensive-minded, high-IQ players with the dream of rejuvenating “Grit ‘n’ Grind.” They drafted arguably two of the best defenders in the draft, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Jevon Carter. With their $8 million mid-level exception, they acquired Kyle Anderson, a young analytics superstar on the defensive end of the court — who also came from a winning organization. They got rid of the gunk from last year’s roster to make room for wily veterans, Garrett Temple, Omri Casspi, and Shelvin Mack.
The moves have paid off thus far. The Grizzlies are off to an 8-5 start, reeling off impressive road wins against the Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks. In addition, the defensive identity they’re establishing is working, as they’re third in the league in defensive rating.
There’s just something missing though — something that’s sticking out like a sore thumb.
In their 5 losses this season, the Memphis Grizzlies have averaged a lowly 92.8 points a game. In those games, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley have been lackluster.
- Mike Conley: 16.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 4.2 APG, 37.0 FG%, 32.4 3PT%, 85.7 FT%
- Marc Gasol: 10.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.2 APG, 32.7 FG%, 20.0 3PT%, 85.0 FT%
So there’s a lingering question with this team, one that was existent prior to this season as well. If Gasol and Conley are cold, who the hell is scoring the basketball?
Though people are pleading for the Memphis Grizzlies to use their open roster spot on another big, they should really use it to fill this scoring need. Granted, you aren’t going to find someone that could step in and be a legitimate 3rd fiddle next to Gasol and Conley. They could surely pick up a scoring load if called upon though.
I know, you’re probably expecting me to say that Carmelo Anthony is the answer here. However, they don’t need a career-long loser on this squad. We’re wanting to return to the playoffs. The Grizzlies need someone with championship pedigree.
Look no further than, Nick Young AKA Swaggy P.
I know he doesn’t fit the type the Memphis Grizzlies reached for this past offseason. Who cares though? Don’t you remember that the Grizzlies once employed Lance Stephenson and Chris “Birdman” Anderson — certified boneheads?
The Memphis Grizzlies need to ignore this type, because they’re in dire need of buckets, and there might not be anyone on the market that can get them like Swaggy P.
At the moment, the Grizzlies don’t have many pure wings. Dillon Brooks’ injury depletes their wing depth, as Temple, MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden Jr. aren’t enough to compete in the Western Conference — I know, Kyle Anderson, Omri Casspi and Chandler Parsons are on the team ... they’re more suited for the 4 than the 3. With Nick Young, they could add legitimate depth to the position, as Young slots perfectly as a 2 or a 3.
In addition, the Grizzlies don’t really have someone, aside from Marc and Mike, that can swing a game off buckets. “Walmart Brand Tyreke Evans” isn’t a good option to do so, as Brooks is only averaging 6.9 points in wins. Young is the type of microwave scorer that can actually flip a game with his shooting — if you don’t believe me, watch this:
No, I’m not sorry for bringing this up. It hurts me just as much as it hurts you, I promise you that.
In addition, aside from Marc and Mike, there isn’t someone that can create his own buckets. Young has an uncanny ability to score off the dribble and essentially create something out of nothing. Granted, sometimes, it’s absolutely horrifying to watch. Other times though, it leaves you in awe:
The Grizzlies also love running shooters off elevator screens, and Young has a quick enough trigger to thrive in these situations:
Finally, the Grizzlies lack a high-volume 3-point shooter. The only players that are averaging more than 4 three-point attempts per game are Mike Conley (6.2), Garrett Temple (4.4), and Marc Gasol (4.2). Nick Young has proven himself as a high-volume shooter. Over the past two seasons, over 65% of his field goal attempts have been from 3-point range. Before he decided to chase rings in the Bay area, Young shot a sizzling 40.4% on 7 three-point attempts per game in LA. If there’s an available player that has a sniper from deep, why not give it a try?
Nick Young’s scoring abilities would be huge for this Grizzlies team. His willingness to let it fly, his shot-creating skills, and his 3-point marksmanship will only help Memphis.
As you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking, he can’t play defense.
Nick Young isn’t a prolific defender by any stretch of imagination. In fact, you could make an argument that he couldn’t care less on defense.
With the Memphis Grizzlies, does it really matter though?
The Grizzlies could easily play to Young’s strengths here and surround him with good defenders. You could trot him out with the current starting lineup by having him replace Anderson or Temple, and his defensive deficiencies wouldn’t hurt the team too much.
The Grizzlies need a microwave scorer to come off the bench, get hot from deep, and shift the momentum of games. He doesn’t fit the GNG prototype, but Nick Young can help these GNG Grizzlies win basketball games.
Let’s get swaggy.
Stats found on basketball-reference.