The Memphis Grizzlies struck out on a big-name free agent when Ray Allen chose to sign with the Miami Heat on Friday. According to The Commercial Appeal, the Grizzlies had pursued Allen and held a teleconference with him. Nevertheless, the 10-time All-Star found the defending champions to be more attractive.
Despite missing out on Allen, the Grizzlies still have a chance to rope in the free-agent shooter they need. Memphis is looking at several players, including Randy Foye, as the above Commercial Appeal article mentioned.
Also, RIA Novosti reported that the Grizzlies are among three teams that have offered deals to CSKA Moscow guard Alexey Shved.
The Grizzlies have one little tool to wave at possible acquisitions—the $5 million per year mid-level exception. However, as the Memphis Flyer reported, the Grizzlies can only offer a full mid-level exception if they withdraw their qualifying offer to Darrell Arthur.
Otherwise, they'd only be able to offer a $3 million per year mini-mid-level exception.
Withdrawing that qualifying offer could be key for the Grizzlies in getting the right guy, as Foye could demand the full mid-level exception.
Following is a breakdown on Foye and others the Grizzlies could pick up to fill the role of the reserve shooter.
Randy Foye did a very nice job as a three-point shooter who figured highly in the Los Angeles Clippers' rotation in 2011-12. He shot 38.6 percent from three-point range and took just over half of his shots from that distance. Foye scored 11 points per game and 15.2 per 36 minutes.
The 28-year-old guard was a consistent scorer, netting double figures in 38 of 65 games.
The Villanova product also did a solid job at the free-throw line, knocking down 85.9 percent.
He did a solid job shooting in the playoffs. He shot 43.8 percent from three-point range and averaged 7.5 points per game. He scored 16 points while shooting 6-of-9 from the field and 4-of-5 from three-point range in a Game 3 win in the first-round series against the Grizzlies.
Considering the high proportion of his shots that come from three-point range, Foye would be a three-point specialist. That could be just what the Grizzlies need, as they placed 25th in the three-point field-goal percentage in 2011-12.
Like Randy Foye, Jodie Meeks figures to be an attractive three-point specialist. Meeks took 57 percent of his field-goal attempts in 2011-12 from three-point range.
Meeks didn't do quite as well as he did during the previous year, but still did fairly well in his third pro season. After scoring 10.5 points per game while shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from three-point range in 2010-11, Meeks put up 8.4 points per game on 40.9 percent shooting and 36.5 from three-point land in 2011-12.
While his numbers dropped by a significant amount, the 24-year-old can surely bounce back. He hardly ever turns the ball over (0.4 times per game and 5.4 percent of possessions). Meeks also plays well off the ball.
Perhaps what the Kentucky product needs is a system that would allow him to run out and get in space. He'd certainly be able to do that in Memphis' transition offense.
The signing would be good for both parties.
Courtney Lee has blossomed quite nicely in his four NBA seasons. He's become a shooter who's capable of dropping buckets quickly off the bench or jumping in for a fill-in job as a starter.
Lee was terrific in 2010-11 for the Houston Rockets. He averaged 8.3 points in just 21.3 minutes per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from three-point range.
With Kevin Martin missing time due to injury, Lee found his way into the starting lineup this season. Overall, Lee averaged 11.4 points per game while shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from three-point range.
His splits as a starter and reserve were close. He shot slightly better as a reserve (43.7% FG and 40.2% 3FG as a reserve to 42.9% FG and 40% 3FG as a starter). Meanwhile, he averaged 13.8 points per 36 minutes in his 26 games as a starter and 13.2 per 36 minutes in his 32 games as a reserve.
Not only would Lee help the Grizzlies in the scoring department, but he'd also help maintain their status as the top turnover-forcing team in the league. Lee averaged 1.2 steals per game in 2011-12. He averages 1.4 per 36 minutes on his career.
Carlos Delfino is another shooter who takes many of his shots from three-point range. Delfino took 53 percent of his attempts from three-point range in 2011-12 and 55 percent the season before.
Delfino is a nice three-point shooter. He hit 37 percent from beyond the arc in 2011-12 and 36 percent the season before. For his career, the seven-year pro is a 36.2 percent three-point shooter.
The 6'6" guard is also a decent rebounder and good at getting steals. He averaged 3.9 rebounds per game and 4.9 per 36 minutes. For his career, he averages 5.8 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Argentine averaged 1.5 steals per game this season and 1.9 per 36 minutes. He averages 1.4 per 36 minutes for his career.
One reservation teams will have while looking at Delfino is his injury history. He missed time toward the end of this season due to a groin tear and had a sports hernia operation in May. In 2010-11, he missed 33 games, largely due to a concussion suffered early in the season.
Still, this streaky shooter could figure to be a three-point threat off the bench for the Grizzlies if they desire to take a chance on him.
As mentioned in the opening slide, Alexey Shved is a jewel in the eyes of a few NBA organizations. The Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves extended offers to the 6'5" combo guard, per RIA Novosti.
Shved is a potent offensive threat. He averaged 11.3 points in 22.1 minutes per game while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from three-point range in 22 Russian League games. While it's unclear how those figures will translate in the NBA, one can see that he's at least a fairly efficient shooter.
Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com praised Shved via Twitter as having the full offensive package:
Alexey Shved has realized much of the potential we discussed here: bit.ly/J3Nidg - Very complete offensive player. Improved shooter.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 14, 2012
If he can make the jump effectively to the NBA, the 23-year-old could be a pleasing contributor off the bench for the Grizzlies next season.
Memphis fans just might see him don the three shades of Grizzly blue, as Fox Sports Ohio reports that the Cavaliers and the Grizzlies are the two finalists for his services.
Lou Williams isn't quite the three-point threat that the others on this list are, but he does figure to be a more dynamic player than the others.
Williams is a more well-rounded shooter than the others on the list. He's an aggressive shot-taker who took only 29 percent of his attempts from three-point range in 2011-12. He hit only 40.7 percent from the field, but nailed a nice 36.2 percent from three-point range. Also, he hit 81.2 percent from the line.
His 14.9 points per game and 20.5 per 36 minutes can't be underestimated.
Williams can serve as a good backup to Mike Conley with his solid distribution and ball-handling skills. He averaged 3.5 assists per game. Also, he had a 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio and a very low turnover rate of 7.2 percent of possessions.
The Memphis native could return home and easily replace all the bench scoring lost due to the impending departure of O.J. Mayo.