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GBB Mailbag: What would you ask the Grizzlies front office?

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Answers to your questions...sort of.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies-Press Conference Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I posed a question to you.

Now of course I couldn’t get answers directly from the horse’s mouth, so for this mailbag I’m going to put on my GM hat and do my best to answer how I think Wallace (or whoever else) would answer.

DISCLAIMER: I AM THE ONE ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS. I AM ANSWERING HOW I BELIEVE THEY WOULD. THIS IS STRICTLY MY OPINION AND IS NOT BASED ON AN ACTUAL INTERVIEW WITH ANY OF THE PARTIES INVOLVED. ALL OF THE QUESTIONS CAME FROM GBB READERS ON OUR SITE OR ON TWITTER.

To the comments!

Chris Wallace said before the draft that:

“Young players take time to develop...(young players) can’t pay dividends now, regardless of who it is. It’s more about a career. Can you get somebody who can be here longstanding, and has the talent to do that? I think these guys can help us next year, too...”

Wallace definitely thinks Jackson will help out the team this year, it’ll just be a matter of how much playing time Jackson gets. Looking good in Summer League and being a starter on Opening Night are two separate things, and hopefully camp and preseason action will help flesh out exactly what role JJJ will play for the team this season.

What was/is lacking in the organization that young players like Davis, Zagorac, Martin, Stokes, Adams and McLemore to name a few haven’t worked out? Is it more player development or drafting fault? - - - BBallJones

You’ll never get Wallace or anyone else in the organization to admit they made mistakes with the draft. Personally, I think it’s a combination of everything. Bad drafting (Davis, Martin, Stokes), bad evaluation (see drafting and add Zagorac and McLemore), and just plain bad luck when it comes to health (Adams). For years we had the coach that “didn’t like young players” in Dave Joerger. Then, if rumors are to be believed, David Fizdale had a lot to do with players like Ben McLemore being brought in.

However, the team has made better drafting decisions (thus far) recently, with the drafting of Dillon Brooks, JJJ, and Jevon Carter. Free agency has brough us a plethora of (so far) decent acquisitions with Kyle Anderson, Garrett Temple, and Omri Casspi.

The front office appears to be heading in the right direction finally, but most of these moves I’ve listed as “decent” have yet to play out.

What was the point in not trading Tyreke away for something and then not making an offer for him during the free agent period? Did the front office change his mind about him during the summer? - - - NothinButNet

Here’s the thing about Tyreke. We all know the rhetoric that was thrown about around the deadline last season about why the team felt it was better to keep him than to trade him and try to get him back in free agency. That part is true.

What isn’t true is the explanantion the came later on. This is part of my attempt to “answer as the FO.”

The circumstances Wallace spoke of, but didn’t elaborate on fully, are the issue. Multiple sources within the organization told me of issues with Tyreke being divisive in the locker room. Which all led to Tyreke being sent home somewhere around the Grizzlies’ trip to New Orleans late in the season. It was around that time that it was decided that unless the market dictated it, Tyreke would not be coming back.

Long story short, the Grizzlies wanted to keep him with hopes to re-sign Tyreke until late last season when they decided for multiple reasons, it wouldn’t be worth bringing him back.

If Gasol develops a problem with another coach what do we do? - - - OleRebel731

After David Fizdale was fired last November, a lot of the blame was put on Marc as being the primary factor in Fizdale’s firing. Wallace at the time deflected the blame towards himself and the front office. At the time, this is what Wallace said:

“There were bigger trends than just the relationship between the two of them...It just hasn’t been going well for us after a good start. And there was no indication that it was going to change magically any time soon.”

We got an almost entire season of Marc and JB together and thus far there hasn’t been any issues. The big difference heading intio this season, is this is now fully JB’s team. Last season, JB was left picking up the pieces after Fizdale’s November firing, which included going the rest of the season with a staff that Fizdale put together.

This season, JB will have his own staff, and his own system in place. If Marc and JB have problems, the team should go with JB moving forward, as Marc could be (or at least should be, but that’s a whole other article) on his way out either this season or next. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense to fire a coach to placate am aging player like Gasol. I would be more concerned as to whether JJJ gets along with JB than any other player.

Which positions do you see Ivan Rabb and Kobi Simmons as being capable of playing? - - - Scott Beattie

The Wallace-esque answer would probably involve saying that they envision both guys fulfilling multiple needs on the floor.

Realistically, Kobi will probably continue to see minutes at both guard positions for the Hustle. His chances of getting extended minutes on the Grizzlies roster will be slim unless injuries ravage the guard corps this season.

Ivan is a curious case. I think he will end up playing mostly the 4 this season and occasionally as a 5 in small lineups. Rabb will spend probably most of his time this season with the Hustle since his minutes will be drastically reduced with the additions of Dakari Johnson and Jaren Jackson, Jr. taking any minutes they may have been available.

It’s still possible that both of these players may not make the final roster with all of the additions the team has made this offseason. If I was Ivan Rabb I wouldn’t get too comfortable heading into this season.

Why did the Grizzlies sign Shelvin Mack? - - - Several GBB Readers

I have no idea.

Okay, to be fair, the reasoning is probably to bolster the depth chart at point guard becuase of the “fragility” of Mike Conley and Andrew Harrison. Options. That’s what Wallace would probably say.

Now if the idea of signing Mack is because JB/Wallace/whoever thinks that Harrison can’t/shouldn’t be the backup? That I’m not down for.

Harrison proved last season while healthy, that he can run the offense as long as he isn’t depended on to be the primary scorer on the floor. With more offensive options added at pretty much every position on the floor, Harrison could thrive and prove himself worthy of a long term deal.

My hope is that the signing of Mack is more of a bandage than a surgical procedure.


That’s it for this edition of the mailbag. Got suggestions for things to cover in a future edition? Comment below or DM me on Twitter with what you want to read about. Thanks to all the folks that sent in questions. Until next time.

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