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Grizzlies Free Agency Profiles: Juan Hernangómez

Will Hernangomez get an offer from the Memphis Grizzlies this offseason?

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Chicago Bulls v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Juan Hernangómez - Forward, Spain

25 years old, 6’9”, 214 pounds.

Draft: Hernangomez, drafted 15th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets

NBA Experience: Hernangomez played 3 and a half seasons with the Denver Nuggets, then traded away in February to the Minnesota Timberwolves where he played in all 14 games before the suspension.

Career Stats: 205 games played in, 51 games started, 5.3 points in 16.1 minutes of game action, 3.4 rebounds, 42.8 percent from the field on 4.2 attempts.

2019-20 highlights:

The 25 year-old Spaniard Juan Hernangómez is looking to prove his worth going into year five. Spending 3 and a half seasons with the Denver Nuggets, he was traded on February 5th, 2020 to the Minnesota Timberwolves where he flourished in his 14 appearances.

Showing his worth in those 14 appearances with the Timberwolves, Hernangómez went from playing 12.9 minutes in Denver, to 29.4 in his time with Minnesota before the season was suspended. He also upped his scoring average to 12.9 points per game with the Timberwolves last season. Hernangomez will be entering free agency “restricted,” which basically means that Minnesota will be able to match any teams offer on him. He is in a great situation, as his skill set matches multiple offenses, and that teams could use him in as a big floor-spacer.

Numbers That Make Hernangomez:

As crazy as this may sound, his lack of playing time, prior to his stint this past season in Minnesota are the numbers that make Hernangomez (weirdly). Given the minutes, Hernangomez played fantastic in nearly triple the minutes, which is what makes him intriguing to a lot of front offices this offseason.

Before the trade: 12.4 minutes, 1.1 FG - 3.2 FGA - 34.2% (3pt percentage 25.0), 2.8 total rebounds

After the trade: 29.4 minutes, 4.4 FG - 9.8 FGA - 45.3% (3pt percentage 42.0), 7.3 total rebounds

Shooting more in 17 more minutes per game and boosting his field goal percentage nearly 11 percent is wild and impressive. Another thing that’s impressive about Hernangomez’s stint in Minnesota was his rebounding jump. His field goal percentage combined with his rebounding is very intriguing to a lot of General Managers out there looking for solid production on a cheap deal.

Minnesota Timberwolves v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Another thing that stood out in his 14 game stint was his activity on the offensive end. He ran the break, excelled in half-court sets, knocked down three-point shots. In a league that is so up and down, Hernangomez would fit in well with Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins “Pace and Space” offense off the bench if he is hitting threes.

Numbers that may make the Grizzlies pass on Hernangomez:

14. Hernangomez only played in 14 games with the Timberwolves, and while we have discussed the pros to that stint in Minnesota the cons can equal out. You can make the argument that he was getting those opportunities on a bad team. The Timberwolves lost a lot of games last season, and in that 14-game stint the Wolves went 4-10. While a lot of that is not on Hernangomez, but his stats could be viewed as “good stats, bad team.”

3.4. While Hernangomez averaged 7.3 in his 14 appearances last season with Minnesota, he averages 3.4 rebounds for his career a game. That is another thing to question for Memphis, because right now the roster currently has rebounders on it are Jonas Valanciunas, Gorgui Dieng, and Brandon Clarke. With Dieng being the likely candidate to be moved at some point either this offseason or next season, Memphis will need someone to come in and grab boards.

-1.6. This is a big number, as it pertains to the plus/minus category. Juan is a career average -1.6 in this category, and a -1.5 in his 14 games in Minnesota. Why a negative in the plus/minus? Hernangomez struggles on the defensive end, which is something that will need to be fixed, and could turn a lot of general managers away this offseason.

Pulse of Grizz Nation

Grizz Nation does not like the idea of adding Juan Hernangomez this offseason, and that is understandable. This Grizzlies team is in a unique spot in terms of growth and progression. With a roster that lacks big men depth, it would make sense adding Hernangomez due to his versatility on the offensive end of the floor, but defensively, it feels like he just gives too much up - so I get why people wouldn’t want him on the roster.

Chicago Bulls v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Final Offer:

Hernangomez will have a handful of offers when free agency opens up, but being a restricted free agent will scare some teams away. Those contending teams that just need a role player off the bench don’t see the same value that a Minnesota might see due to different situations.

That’s where the final offer comes in - if you’re Memphis, you don’t need Hernangomez’s services outside of a year, and money wise - the minimum. Minnesota would match that offer, and will hold him of more value as they need a four going into next season off the bench. That is why this free agency is so value to a guy of his caliber, because role players will be tough to come by this offseason.

I don’t think Memphis pursues Juan Hernangomez, but a team that values his offensive production, and potential will pay a little bit more to secure him in free agency.

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