NBA / Jun 30, 2009 / 5:38 pm

Grizzlies: all the cap space, none of the appeal

O.J. Mayo (photo. Memphis Commercial Appeal)

O.J. Mayo (photo. Memphis Commercial Appeal)

Although the ’09 NBA free agent class isn’t as stacked as in years past — not to mention the League is being more thrifty than ever due to the slumping economy — teams still have holes they want to plug, and players have moves they want to make. On the eve of the negotiation period (players can’t officially sign until July 8), we’re taking the next few days to break down each team’s free agent situation…

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

ROSTER
G – O.J. Mayo, Mike Conley, Marko Jaric, Greg Buckner, Mike Wilks
F – Rudy Gay, Quentin Richardson, Hakim Warrick, Sam Young, Darrell Arthur, DeMarre Carroll, Darius Miles, Quinton Ross
C – Marc Gasol, Hasheem Thabeet, Hamed Haddadi, Chris Mihm

FREE AGENTS
Warrick (R), Ross, Mihm, Wilks

ANALYSIS
The team with the lowest payroll in the League — and therefore the most cap space — can be a major player if they want to be. And that’s the big question. Do they really want to spend the money to be good?

The Grizzlies have holes all over the roster. They could use an upgrade at PG over Mike Conley, who still can’t shoot and doesn’t look close to delivering on the promise he showed in college. A veteran PG who makes good decisions would be a great fit. Or if the plan is to eventually move O.J. Mayo to point, a solid two-guard would be a good move. Despite using two first-round picks on PF’s the last two years, Memphis still has a need there, particularly somebody who can be a scorer. Plus there isn’t one pure shooter on the roster (no, Q-Rich doesn’t count), and the defense needs help all over the place.

Memphis can afford to pay for quality talent, but are held back by the fact that players never seem to want to play for them, and the organization is more interested in saving money than using it.

(Side note: Is nobody else excited to see D-Miles and Q-Rich back together? The antennas/head-tap bar has to be lowered, though; instead of just highlight plays — which neither one of them makes anymore — break it out for layups and made free throws.)

IDEAL TARGETS
PG – Ray Felton (R), Mike Bibby, Ramon Sessions (R), Andre Miller, Nate Robinson (R), Jarrett Jack (R).
SG – Ben Gordon, Josh Childress (R), Linas Kleiza (R), Anthony Parker, Marquis Daniels, Wally Szczerbiak, Rashad McCants (R)
PF – Carlos Boozer (PO), Lamar Odom, Paul Millsap (R), David Lee (R), Big Baby Davis (R), Charlie Villanueva, Rasheed Wallace, Anderson Varejao, Brandon Bass

NBA FREE AGENCY ANALYSIS
Los Angeles Lakers
Memphis Grizzlies
Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Clippers

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  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    No offense to the city of Memphis but the only thing that will improve this franchise is to be sold and moved to Seattle.

  • Jah

    MOVE TO SEATTLE!!!!

  • George W Kush Sr

    Honestly, spend money on Andre Miller at point.
    You can get decent deal for Daniels, Anthony Parker or Linas Kleiza at SG.
    Charlie V and Brandon Bass should be your PF targets.

    Guys that need to go are Conley, Q.Richardson, Jaric, Miles and Ross, quick fast.

  • IGP

    David Lee and Nate Robinson would actually fit well. If they sign Josh Childress and those two guys I bet they make some noise.

  • abpin

    Go for Millsap & Sessions. Probably can afford both since they don’t require top dollar (except Millsap is being a bobo and thinks he deserves a lot).

  • Ashlov

    F that, move to Vegas.

  • Chaos

    Move them back to Seattle and name the SuperSonics!!!1 no one like the grizzlies in Vancouver or Memphis…Bring them team back to where they belong…SEATTLE, STOP BEIN CHEAP!

  • Scott

    Just thought you guys might be interested, as I read another column where someone mentioned where’s Marcus Williams, the PG who was traded from NJ to GS.

    I asked him today on Twitter who he’s playin in the summer league with, as he stated he’s considerin playin in vegas, and he replied that Memphis would be the team. Hopefully he returns to his NJ form when he looked like the heir to Kidd’s NJ PG throne.

    Still Sessions needs to find a place that he can get major minutes for a full season to see if he’s as good as advertised. I think he is, but time will tell.

  • Sweet English

    oh man i don’t know how many people got the headtap/antennas reference but i nearly died laughing.

  • Sweet English

    LOL MADE FREE THROWS.

    Oh man thats classic

  • bigger_daddy

    hahaha, thanks dime for making me remember those good old clips days, man they had Potential back then…

  • http://TheHighPosts.com POE

    (Side note: Is nobody else excited to see D-Miles and Q-Rich back together? The antennas/head-tap bar has to be lowered, though; instead of just highlight plays — which neither one of them makes anymore — break it out for layups and made free throws.)

    LOL