Memphis Grizzlies 2016-17 NBA Record: 43-39 (7th in Western Conference)
Additions: Ivan Rabb (Draft), Dillon Brooks (Draft), Wayne Selden Jr (Free Agency: Re-signed), JaMychal Green (Free Agency: Re-signed), Kobi Simmons (Free Agency), Ben McLemore (Free Agency), Tyreke Evans (Free Agency), Mario Chalmers (Free Agency), Rade Zagorac (Free Agency), Vince Hunter (Two-Way contract), Jeremy Morgan (Free Agency)
Subtractions: Tony Allen (Free Agency), Vince Carter (Free Agency), Zach Randolph (Free Agency)
Memphis are a team known for their hard ‘grit-n-grind’ style of play. With that they achieved success, entering deep playoff runs. This might be at the end, as they have made major roster changes. None more so than the departures of Tony Allen and Zach Randolph.
Are the Grizzlies going to recover?
The leaders of Memphis are still in their prime. Who are supporting them in the grit-n-grind Memphis play? Ivan Rabb, a projected lottery pick in 2016 had foregone his NBA eligibility and came in 2017. A double-double machine, he has been a strong player with University of California, Berkley. Brooks is a scoring guard from Oregon. He has shown he can shoot from the 3-point range as well, vital for the NBA today.
Tyreke Evans is the biggest free agency signing. The former rookie of the year has been a good ball handler and scorer, but has not replicated the form for the last couple of seasons. The Grizzlies should allow him that opportunity. Mario Chalmers adds some veterancy . Having not played in the 2016-17 season, he has been re-signed by the team. He has playoff experience, having been to 4 Finals with Miami. Ben McLemore and JaMychal Green are players, adding NBA experience for a role in the second unit.
Mike Conley and Marc Gasol both have a couple of years left at the top at the best. If the Grizzlies cannot have success with this core, the franchise would consider rebuilding. Having Randolph and Allen, it can be viable to question the defensive prowess of the team. Marc Gasol, Chalmers, Green, Conley have not played more than 74 games a season in any of the last couple of seasons.
The worst part of Memphis is Chandler Parson’s contract. His success at Dallas and Houston have not been shown at Memphis. His health and fitness are of big concern. An unproductive player like him is costing the team well over $20 million for the next 3 seasons.
The Grizzlies are a different team. They won’t be the same grit-n-grind team that they have been. They seem to be becoming a more fluid team, matching the others in the NBA. The team are heading in a different direction. A playoff spot this season looks very difficult for this team. If Gasol, Conley and others can remain healthy, they still might make the post-season.
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