Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grizzly Wild Wings: The Grizzlies have a crowd of 2's and 3's

Posted By on Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Quincy Pondexter is one of seven players fighting for air in the Grizzlies rotation.
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Quincy Pondexter is one of seven players fighting for air in the Grizzlies' rotation.

The Grizzlies have had a fairly successful (if rather uneventful) free agency period thus far. Re-signing Beno Udrih for a 2-year deal and bringing in Vince Carter for a 3 year, $12 million deal (with a partial guarantee the third year, when Carter will be 40) may not have been the flashiest thing that's happened this offseason, but in lieu of making a splash, the Grizzlies have opted to tweak the roster they've got at the moment and quietly make subtle upgrades while keeping themselves flexible for next summer, when Marc Gasol will be a free agent and the Grizzlies will only have six players under contract (or nine counting the unguaranteed years/team options of Jon Leuer and Jamaal Franklin along with then RFA Nick Calathes).

With the draft and free agency, though, there's a way in which the Grizzlies are starting to resemble the Houston Rockets from about three seasons ago (pre-Lin, pre-Harden, pre-Howard, pre-Parsons-being-a-thing): they have a lot of wings. Way too many wings for all of them to have a consistent spot in the rotation. Too many wings to not be at least considering trading some of them.

Let's run through the list and see who can contribute what and how likely they are to be a part of the team's future plans.

Tony Allen

There was some disagreement on Twitter last week about whether Tony Allen's trade stock was at an all-time high after the Oklahoma City series or at a low after the injury-plagued (and, let's be honest, attitude-plagued) season Allen had last year. I tend to side with the latter: I'm not sure that Allen's best days as a player are still ahead of him.

Tony Allen is one of the best defenders in the league (and really, only LeBron James keeps me from calling him "the best"). What's problematic about Tony Allen is that his offense is (1) predicated on cuts to the basket when he's contributing and (2) quickly evolves into "Tony Allen shooting wide open 20-footers because he's being left alone" when he's not.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Are the Grizzlies getting better?

Posted By on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Are the Grizzlies keeping up with the rest of the West, or just riding out the status quo?
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Are the Grizzlies keeping up with the rest of the West, or just riding out the status quo?

Free agency season is upon us, which means the most fun ("fun") part of the NBA offseason has begun: sitting around waiting for something to come across Twitter from one of the NBA reporting world's usual suspects—Woj, Marc Stein, Marc Spears, among others—about what the league's 30 teams are up to. Today, Jodie Meeks somehow managed to land a contract worth $20 million (I assume this was done during the US World Cup game on purpose, in hopes that no one would notice).

But there's something a little depressing about this summer's free agency period to me, especially in light of the contract extension awarded to Zach Randolph last week immediately following the draft: the Grizzlies, yet again, aren't really in the market for any free agents. Sure, there are holes to fill here and there—a cheap wing who can shoot 3's, a big for the end of the bench so there are five of them in Ed Davis' absence (Davis became an unrestricted free agent Monday), a back up point guard in case Nick Calathes somehow bails and goes back to Panathinaikos (who want to pay him millions of dollars to do so)—but the truth of the matter is that the Grizzlies don't have any cap room left, not enough to make a splash in free agency.

Which is a problem—if not this year, then for the future of this multi-year Grizzlies run.

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