It’s been a quiet summer for the Memphis Grizzlies. By staying out of the free-agency frenzy, the team has had a chance to re-tool upon their core. Which is, to say the least, a very solid one.
First off, the team’s two-time All-Star power forward, Zach Randolph, exercised his player option by opting out of his current contract just to come back and re-sign with the Grizzlies for two years and $20 million. The team’s cap space took a breather with Randolph’s new deal since he was owed $16.5 million for the last year of his contract.
Then came the 2014 NBA Draft. With the 22nd pick, the Grizzlies got a 19-year-old UCLA Bruin in Jordan Adams. After a series of awe-inspiring NBA Summer League performances by Adams in which he logged 42 points on .440/.556/1.000 shooting splits, the Grizzlies ultimately finalized his four-year, $8.4 million rookie deal on Monday July 7.
Regardless, as the eighth oldest team in the NBA, they could certainly get some much-needed youth out of a young guard like Adams. With a crop of point and shooting guards that hover around the 26-year-old mark, the team has plenty of time to go ahead and develop Adams’ set of skills without rushing into it.
On Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Grizzlies reached an agreement with Slovenian shooting guard Beno Udrih. Beno averaged 7.9 points per game on .467/.333/.692 shooting splits but logged in some very valuable minutes in the playoffs.
Hearing: Beno Udrih has committed to sign and stay with Memphis. Deal to be completed today
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 10, 2014
As I’ve said before, the Grizzlies have never been deeper during the ‘grit-n-grind’ era. Led by veterans such as Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Tony Allen, the team’s bound to get better and better.
The money situation’s getting better. Next summer, the Grizzlies are looking at $34 million in committed money. Said committed money does not include ‘grit-n-grind’ leading man Marc Gasol. With plus-$30 million to spend, the team could get one, or two, young talents in free agency and still re-sign Gasol. With a hit in the 2015 NBA Draft, they could get even better for the 2015-16 season.
The Memphis Grizzlies, barring an injury, are only getting better. Still, competing in the super loaded Western Conference, getting better might not get them far enough.