The Grizzlies have had two free agent acquisitions, some trade rumors in recent days, and even some lineup questions going into training camp. I got together some of the best minds for another round table summer edition.
On this round table we have GBB’s Site Manager Joe Mullinax, GBB Associate Editor Jack Noonan, GBB Senior Writer Eric Spyropoulos, and GBB Writers Shawn Coleman and Mac Trammell to tackle some of the toughest questions right now.
Kyle Anderson has arrived. What is the best use of him for the Grizzlies?
Joe Mullinax GBB Site Manager (@JoeMullinax) - He will be the starting small forward, and I think considering who will be around him (Marc Gasol/Mike Conley/Dillon Brooks/Jaren Jackson Jr. or JaMychal Green) that is the most logical spot. What is “best” for Kyle, regardless of position, is that he play with as many shooters as possible at all times. It isn’t necessary for him to succeed, but it would enable him to have maximum space to work with off the dribble offensively.
Eric Spyropoulos GBB Senior Writer (@EricSpyrosNBA) - On offense, Anderson should get ample opportunities to create with the ball in his hands, as he is a poor off-ball shooter and can help Conley, Gasol and others by setting them up for good looks. However, he can also excel on cuts when playing off-ball, which serves him well to fit alongside Conley and Gasol in the starting lineup. On defense, he should have a more straightforward fit, as he should get the opponent’s best perimeter/wing player in most match-ups.
Mac Trammell GBB Writer (@Mac_Trammell) - Kyle Anderson will be an useful wing playmaker and someone who can handle the ball, freeing up Mike Conley to play off ball. Hopefully his defense will continue to be of a high caliber as it seems he should be able to switch across three or four positions as well as generate a number of turnovers.
Jack Noonan GBB Associate Editor (@jnoonan1307 ) - The best use for Anderson will be as starting small forward to start the year. He has great size and defensive impact to revive the ‘Grit N Grind’ culture back to Memphis. His offense needs some development scoring off the dribble, but he will fit in nicely in a variety of lineups featured here.
Shawn Coleman GBB Writer (@StatsSac) - With his good decision making and instincts, Anderson works as a point-foward and second option besides Mike Conley to control the ball while a play develops. This should allow Conley and Marc Gasol to get better shots outside and inside, respectively. Off the ball, being a motion guy on the wing and baseline will help him become an effective scorer through good shot selection. Defensively, a zone type scheme would fit him best, allowing him to effectively defend a specific area without a lot of movement.
Omri Casspi is another addition, but what role will he have on an already crowded roster?
Mullinax - Omri Casspi feels like Chandler Parsons insurance to me. If Chandler can go and be 80% of what everyone hoped he could be, he will play 60-ish games 25 minutes a game and be a solid contributor. Omri will be there to serve a similar role on those nights Parsons cannot be there, however few or many they may be.
Spyropoulos - Casspi shouldn’t see consistent playing time due to the depth on the wing, but he can provide a capable bench piece at the three or four positions, and brings a solid veteran presence in the locker room. However, Anderson, Dillon Brooks, a healthy Chandler Parsons, Jaren Jackson Jr. and JaMychal Green should all receive playing time over Casspi, making him more of a spot contributor.
Trammell - I think Omri Casspi will serve as a poor man’s Troy Daniels. He can come in and shoot, but won’t get much opportunity. The main difference between Daniels and Casspi however is that Casspi has some redeeming defensive qualities, so maybe that will make it easier to play him.
Noonan - It will be interesting to see how Casspi fits in this rotation. He can definitely provide some shooting which Memphis desperately needs. However, as it is crowded throughout, his minutes will be limited for most of the season.
Coleman - As Mike Miller. Vince Carter, and Shane Battier have done so well for us in the past, Casspi would seem to fit the “veteran presence” off the bench role quite well. While not significantly impacting the box score on a nightly basis, Casspi providing intelligent passing, good team defense, and clutch shooting should help the Grizzlies keep games close while the starters rest. He seems to be the type of player who will consistently make a small play that proves crucial in securing a win.
Marcus Smart isn’t going to be a Grizzly, but hypothetically, if the possibility was there, what would be the most you’d be willing to send in a sign and trade with Boston for his services?
Mullinax - The most I would have given up is JaMychal Green, Ben McLemore, and two future 2nd round picks. Boston almost certainly says no to that, but I am not interested in sending the Celtics anymore 1st round picks. While Boston loves JaMychal, and maybe could get in to $13 million coming off their books in 2019, I’m not sure that’s worth losing a player as culture defining for them as Smart. He’d be a great Grizzly, though.
Spyropoulos - Given the current Grizzlies roster and the possibility that a rebuild could begin in the next year or so as Conley and Gasol age, it is too risky to give up a first round pick in such a trade. That leaves relatively uninspiring possible packages, but something centered around Dillon Brooks, Green, and a second round pick or two is about the limit I’d have in such a trade.
Trammell - JaMychal + a contract (Ben McLemore who would be stretched I’d have to imagine?). I was toying with a Marc Gasol for our 1st round pick back framework, but there’s just no way to make that work. If anyone suggests sending a future 1st I would like to have a stern word in private with that (those) person(s).
Noonan - Knowing Boston, to get a hypothetical deal done with them they would want a lot. The max offer for me would be JaMychal Green, Dillon Brooks and a salary match plus a possible second rounder. DB is a sell-high candidate coming off his rookie year and JaM is in a contract year clearing the way for Jaren Jackson Jr. to excel. Smart will instantly bring the defensive spark to the Grizzlies.
Coleman - My best offer would be JaMychal Green and two second rounders. Marcus Smart embodies Grit and Grind more than any other current player in my opinion, adding value in the present and future and strengthening the identity the Grizzlies want to reestablish. However, he would do this best as a role player complementing our featured talent, one Memphis should not use valuable future assets, such as first round picks, to acquire.
Who on the Grizzlies that will likely not be waived (anyone not named Jarell, Deyonta, or Ben) will see their role reduced most with the new acquisitions now officially on the roster?
Mullinax - It’s going to be either Wayne Selden Jr. or MarShon Brooks. Those two will likely fight it out for reserve guard minutes, and with Parsons/Harrison/Casspi in the fold it feels unlikely that both Selden and MarShon get run. It will be the battle of the unprovens - Selden can’t stay healthy, and MarShon put up numbers on an awful team. Whoever wins may have a future in Memphis. The loser may be trade bait come February.
Spyropoulos - If Jaren Jackson Jr. really emerges early on in his rookie season, we could certainly see a reduced role for JaMychal Green. If Jackson claims the starting spot at the four, Green’s minutes could be reduced as Jackson’s development is prioritized (especially if the team struggles again this season). We could also see a role decrease for MarShon Brooks and/or Andrew Harrison, especially if Dillon Brooks slides over to the starting shooting guard spot and continues to improve as a potential 3 & D wing.
Trammell - Andrew Harrison, Wayne Selden, Dillon Brooks. I bet JaMychal will get similar minutes and will probably lead off the season as the starting power forward even if later on Jackson takes over that role. I chose Harrison, Selden, and Brooks because I think Kyle Anderson has the ability to do a lot of what these guys do, meaning they might not be relied upon as much.
Noonan - The most likely candidate for a role reduction on this team is Dillon Brooks. He will be replaced by Kyle Anderson in the starting rotation and may see even more of his minutes clipped if the corpse of Chandler Parsons can stay healthy for any decent amount of the season. He’ll have to prove his worth coming off a very impressive rookie campaign.
Coleman - Ivan Rabb seems to be the player most negatively impacted by this offseason. While he was never considered to have a big role going into this year, the talent he flashed in spurts as a rookie made it appear he could be our main reserve frontcourt player in 2018. With the additions of Jaren Jackson Jr. and Kyle Anderson, and their versatility fitting into multiple lineup schemes at the 4 and 5, Rabb’s potential for a relevant role seems far less likely.