Coming off the franchise’s first ever appearance in the Western Conference Finals, the Memphis Grizzlies aren’t in store for any drastic moves this off-season (outside of letting go of their head coach.) The Grizz do have some minor moves they need to make though if they want remain among the best in the West.
Memphis Grizzlies (56-26 last year)
2012-13 Season Summary:
After setting a franchise record with 56 wins and impressive first two rounds of the playoffs, the Memphis Grizzlies were swept by the Spurs in the team’s first ever trip to the Western Conference Finals. It’s hard to find many negatives with all that success but the Griz management decided not to retain head coach Lionel Hollins which seems rather harsh.
The Grizzlies were paced by their productive trio of Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol. Rudy Gay was the team’s leading scorer but in a reportedly cap cutting move dealt Gay and his massive contract in a three-team deal that landed Memphis Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, and Ed Davis. Prince struggled in his new home and as a result, the team’s offensive production dipped (finished 27th in the league in scoring) meaning they had to rely on their stout defense (allowed least point in league) to pull out victories.
Besides dealing Gay, Memphis also pretty much gave away Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington to Cleveland to avoid having to pay the luxury tax. That cut into the depth of the team but the Grizzlies still got solid production from starting shooting guard Tony Allen and reserve Jerryd Bayless but the rest of the bench which included guys like Quincy Pondexter, Darrell Arthur, Davis, and Daye failed to provide the boost needed to get the Griz over the edge.
2013-14 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Marc Gasol/Ed Davis
PF: Zach Randolph/Darrell Arthur/*Jon Leuer
SF: Tayshaun Prince/*Austin Daye
SG: Quincy Pondexter
PG: Mike Conley/^Jerryd Bayless/Tony Wroten
NBA Free Agents:
SG-Tony Allen (UFA)
PG-Keyon Dooling (UFA)
^PG-Jerryd Bayless (PO)
*SF-Austin Daye (RFA)
*PF-Jon Leuer (RFA)
2013-14 Team Salary: approximately $57.5 million
1. Head Coach: Despite all of the success the Memphis Grizzlies have had the past few years under Lionel Hollins, he was shown the door this off-season which is a pretty bold move by management. Now Memphis has set the bar incredibly high in finding a replacement for Hollins in someone who not only keep the team playing among the best out west but trying to take the franchise to the next level.
2. Shooting Guard: With Tony Allen an unrestricted free agent and Jerryd Bayless able to opt out of his contract, the Grizzlies must address their shooting guard position. Allen has proven to be a valuable asset and Memphis should make a push to re-sign him. If not, the team needs a starting caliber shooting guard unless they feel comfortable starting Quincy Pondexter at the two (which they shouldn’t.) Bayless opting out of his contract would hurt as well since he and Conley played in the same backcourt at times.
3. Bench Scoring: This becomes a more pressing need if Bayless is not back in Memphis but even if he does return, the Grizzlies need some more scoring punch from their bench because guys like Arthur, Pondexter, and Davis are not going to get the job done.
OTHER NBA TEAM NEEDS PAGES:
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans
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David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks