The Memphis Grizzlies LONG Off Season

Monty SinghSenior Analyst IJune 3, 2008

    The Memphis Grizzlies used to be a consistant losing playoff team. They are currently looking at a complete rebuilding process. They traded Pau Gasol to be able to get a lot of cap space for this summer. With the money they have to spend this summer, they also have the 5th pick in the upcoming draft. Here is what I think they need to do this off season.

    Despite their bad record, the Grizzlies have some positives to build on this off season. Rudy Gay really improved from his first season, as he showed some  strides to becoming a future star. Mike Miller also began to look like the top ten pick he is, while he leading the team in rebounding (which is actually sad), and shot very well.

They also have a loaded set of young, solid point guards with Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, and Javaris Crittenton. Over all the 1, 2, and 3 look good. Then there is Darko Milicic down low. Yeah that did not go too well for them, especially with Kwame Brown coming off the bench.

Darko seems like he can be a solid defender, but only by coming off the bench. They had a poor defense, since they tried playing under the Mike D' Antoni system of run and gun. Marc Iavaroni can be a good coach with the they positions they have, but need a guy like Pau Gasol to lead them in the post...Oh yeah they traded him.

They had talked about using Conley and Lowry as point guard, of course with one starting and one being the backup, and using Crittenton as the shooting guard, since he can play both positions. Remember, they have to get players that can play under Iavaroni's  system. Mike Miller did well, but they are looking like they are going in the rebuilding direction, which is why I expect him to be traded.

A rumor has it that the Heat and Grizzlies would make a trade if Rose is taken number one, the Heat would get Lowry and Miller for the fifth pick as they swap, so the Grizzlies can get Beasley. That would be great for the Grizzlies, but I am going to assume Beasley goes number one and Rose goes to the Heat.

The Grizzles would want to get another young talent. A way to do that would be to trade with the 76ers, and send Lowry to the Sixers for their 16th pick and rights to Edin Bavcic, who is a talented forward drafted by the Raptors in 2006.

The Grizzlies took Conley as the number four pick last year, and they look commited to him. Crittenton can be a backup or play next to Conley. Carlos Navarro, if he re-signs, also can be a good back up at point. With the 16th pick they could land a big man like a JaVale McGee, who is a project.

    If the Grizzlies feel like they need to move from Mike Miller and look at their future, Zach Randolph is a 20-point and 10-rebound big man the Grizzlies could use. Trading Miller and Brian Cardinal's contract should be good for the Knicks, since they get a player who can come off the bench and fit D' Antoni, and another large contract, while they are building to get as many expring contracts for 2010 to land LeBron James. I personally like this because Randolph really is a good player but people do not realize that.

    With the fifth and 28th pick in the upcoming draft, the Grizzlies are in a good position. With their first pick they should get Kevin Love.

Thinking about it, Love would fit into their system and can ignite a fast break better than any one I have ever seen with his long passing ability. He can spread the floor out and shoot, while he can be a solid PF in the NBA. He slimmed down and really looked good in Orlando pre-draft camp. He seems NBA ready and can make an impact for the Grizzlies  next season.

With the 28th pick they can get a Nathan Jawai, who is the Aussie version of Shaq. He is a big sized player who needs some work, but can develop in a nice center in the NBA. This should help their need for a big man in the draft.

In the free agent market the Grizzlies should be set for a couple of years with their cap space. They have the money to land Marion, Brand, or Jermaine O'Neal, but I would not expect these players to want to go to Memphis, unless they are flooded with cash.

Kristic is a free agent who they can pick up. Two seasons ago, before his injury, he looked like a future center in the NBA who had all the tools. If they give him a physical and workout and he looks good, they should look at getting him.

Overall, the Grizzlies are headed to the right direction. They seem like they are going with the youth movement, and with Rudy Gay and Mike Conley, they have a good building block. They need size to go with their talented guards and fowards. The draft and free agency should help them there. They have many options. If they make the right decisions this off season they will go the right direction, if not they will fall into a deep and dark hole for many years.

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