Other than Durrant, I think Parson is the best the Griz could do to fill their SF position. Parsons' size and scoring ability make him a superior fit for the Griz compared to Batum.
However, I do wonder what the Griz are going to do with Zbo. If the Griz want to move to a modern offense, they can't continue to start him alongside Gasol, especially with a scorer like Parsons in the mix. Moving him and the one year left on his contract seems like a big possibility. Of course, before that happens, if it does, it would be nice to know whether Brandan Wright will ever play again.
So far, it's been a good off-season for the Griz.
Coach of the year race: Dave Joerger, Dwane Casey, Brad Stevans
How many times have teams that are positioned to play each other in the playoffs (Clipoers #4 vs Grizzlies #5) made a trade of this magnitude (rotation players, 1st round pick) 50+ games into the season?
I think it's too late to "blow it up." They went all in on Grit n' Grind. They re-signed players past their prime and added players past their prime. Maxed out Gasol. Have no plan in place if they don't re-sign and possibly max out Conley. And they traded away draft picks, which makes rebuilding from scratch a near impossibility.
Unfortunately, building around Gasol and Conley is not going to get us very far. Neither is an alpha dog. They can be the #2 or #3 guy on a team, but neither is a #1. In this respect, they are both similar to Pau when he was here. Pau wasn't good enough to carry the franchise in Memphis, but as a #2 guy in LA alongside Kobe, he won two championships.
Maybe the Griz will get lucky and find a Jimmy Butler or Kawhi Leonard type player in the middle or latter part of the first round of the draft. However, almost all of the top players in the league were selected early in the draft, mostly top 7 or higher. So our chances of getting a true alpha dog are slim.
Yeah, but they've been playing roughly .500 ball since last year's all star game. This season's results shouldn't be surprising at all
There are more pluses than minuses with Zbo going to the bench.
On offense, Zbo is a space clogger, ball stopper, and double-digit shot attempter. And he often struggles when matched up with taller, more athletic defenders, which is now how many teams counter his low-post scoring ability. Without Zbo, the offense flows more evenly and, in theory, Gasol and Conley are forced to take more shots, which is what you want from your two best players.
On defense, Zbo struggles on pick and roll and guarding the 3-point line, and with age, he's getting worse. And his defensive rebounding numbers are down (almost 2 rebs from a season ago), so his one strength on defense, isn't as much of a strength as it has been.
But as a bench player, he's dealing with lesser players on both ends, and, in theory, should be able to play his game, getting the ball in the post, battling for position, and putting up a high volume of shots.
Plus, as Zbo said in an interview yesterday, this is how Joerger wants to play. Coach wants to modernize the Grizzlies' offense. I think that's a good thing.
My main concern is that this line-up change might detrimentally affect Jam Green's playing time and Martin's time, assuming he gets any. Also, where does Wright fit, assuming he ever plays again?
Sadly, Green has the highest PER among our 4 rotation wings. And all of them are well below league average.
Again, there are no good solutions for the Griz. We're talking about 4 middle-of-the-road players, all past their prime, none of whom are in the Grizzlies' long-term plans, or at least shouldn't be. Each has strengths, each has weaknesses.
Joeger can continue to try the musical chairs approach, which you seem to be suggesting. Another idea is to trade one of them, which would have the added benefit of creating playing opportunities for Adams and Ennis, but might cost the team cap space next season. I like the smallball idea, at least it will be fun to watch, but I doubt Joerger goes that route.
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By Jackson Baker
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