Apr 14, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) celebrates against the Phoenix Suns during the second half at US Airways Center. The Grizzlies won 97-91. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Grizzlies: Looking Ahead To 2014-15

After a quiet and rather painless offseason, we look ahead into the Memphis Grizzlies 2014-15 season.

As teams run out of money and free agents start choosing their final destinations, everybody needs to go ahead and start planning for what they’ve built during this offseason. The results of each team’s acquisitions will only be seen once they go back and work out and/or draw a plan of action for the upcoming season. Without this plan, everything they built during the summer is for nothing.

So let’s get to work.

Money

The Grizzlies have $69.1 million in committed money BEFORE signing Vince Carter and Beno Udrih.

Now, Carter’s deal is worth about three years, $12 million, so his deal alone should put the Grizzlies well over the projected 2014-15 salary cap of $63 million. Terms and length of Udrih’s deal have not been disclosed but, by getting anything more than $2 million per year, the Grizzlies are looking at around $76 million* for the 2014-15 season.

Regardless, the Grizzlies are over the cap but under the luxury tax for the season.

*Numbers barring a trade before the season gets under way.

Starting lineup

With no high-end signings in the offseason, it is likely that the Grizz are going to keep their starting lineup intact.

Pretty solid in my honest opinion.

Bench

The Grizzlies bench, even after losing Ed Davis (104 points per 100 possessions) and James Johnson (100 points per 100 possessions), is a defensive powerhouse.

It shouldn’t come as news that the team’s off the bench defense is one of the best in the league. Things are not looking good for the rest of the Western Conference.

Draft Picks

The Grizzlies have a good situation regarding their 2015 NBA Draft picks. They might even have both of their picks.

  • 2015 first-round: Cleveland has their pick. But it’s protected if it lands in the 1-5 or 15-30 spots. With Cleveland landing LeBron James the pick is likely to land in the 15-30 spot so they will get it back. (It’s highly unlikely that the Cavs, playing in the Eastern Conference, will end up somewhere between the 6-14 spots in the league).
  • 2015 second-round: The Grizzlies own this pick. For now.

Prediction

The Grizzlies take the West.

The Grizzlies will end up as one of the top teams in the West. Hopefully they’ve learned from their mistakes (aka The Reggie Jackson Game) and they will have what it takes to assemble a deeper run through the 2015 Playoffs.

Even though the San Antonio Spurs might have just gotten better during the summer, every other team is looking to take the throne. The Western Conference is up for grabs and who better than the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that’s never been to the NBA Finals, to step up and grind their way through.

Tags: Memphis Grizzlies

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