The Memphis Grizzlies certainly fought hard, but fell to the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs (again). After an impressive push on the second best team in the league, the Grizzlies may be just one piece away from playoff contention. It’s almost summer, but what will that mean for Memphis?
Defensive star Tony Allen missed out on the playoffs due to a left calf injury, but would have likely made a difference. Titled the “toughest defender Kobe has ever faced,” he’s earned respect in that regard. However, his contract is up and the Grizzlies need to resign. Should he be up to it, Zach Randolph is also a free agent. He’s been another timeless piece in this Grizzlies core, and made huge plays in this playoffs series.
JaMychal Green is another player due for signing. He’s been an incredible role player, and was great against San Antonio, shooting (7-16) from behind the arc, averaging (7.5) points.
This core for Memphis has been consistent, recording a (333-225) record over the last seven years, only missing the playoffs once. People forget that it was just two years ago when the Grizzlies went (55-27) and pushed the Warriors (who would be champions) to six games in the Semi Finals.
Hanging on to this core cannot be a bad idea.
The Grizzlies have the 6th highest salary with $110 million a year (thanks Mike Conley). With that in mind, I’m not sure this franchise can afford too many additions, and will likely sign just a few role players. Plus, after their Chandler Parsons experiment went to shit, it’s hard to think they would place that much trust in another star.
PJ Tucker is set to be a free agent, but may be getting ready for a big contract. One of those players whose impact doesn’t show on the stat line, he would fit in great in Memphis. Especially with Chandler Parsons sliding (hopefully slowly) back into his starting role, Tucker could certainly hold things down at the 3.
From the Grizzlies games I watched, I saw a lot of potential in their young role players. Mike Conley will obviously stay on the starting lines, but moving some younger guys to a (permanent) starting role might not be a bad thought.
James Ennis III was huge in the playoffs, averaging: (8.3) points, (4.2) rebounds, and (0.8) steals. In Game 6, he shot (3-4) from behind the arc in crunch time, and may have shown his capability to play with the big boys.
If I was a Grizzlies fan, I’d be ecstatic for next season. After losing two starters in Chandler Parsons and Tony Allen, you still pushed the Spurs to Game 6? Bravo.
Grind city has a lot of work ahead of them, but will likely not take Conference QuarterFinals as an answer next year. Take that for data.
All stats and information provided by ESPN and NBA.com. Featured image provided by OregonLive via Google Images.