3 Offseason moves that could transform the Memphis Grizzlies

Jaren Jackson Jr, Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Jaren Jackson Jr, Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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Tyus Jones #21 of the Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Tyus Jones #21 of the Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Grizzlies Offseason Move #1: Improve the bench

The Grizzlies’ bench was greatly diminished by injuries to Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke, which sent Xavier Tillman into the starting lineup. That left the Grizzlies with Tyus Jones, Luke Kennard, Santi Aldama, and some fringe rotation players. Jones is arguably the best backup point guard in the league; Kennard is a great shooter; Adams will hopefully be back to start the next season; and Tillman used his chance to show what he can do. Nevertheless, this bench needs some boosters and safety cushions in case of another injury-ridden season.

Last summer, the Grizzlies went all in on youth. They let go of De’Anthony Melton and Kyle Anderson and replaced them with rookies. That resulted in a lack of depth, shooting, size, and rebounding that reared its ugly head in the playoffs. The only meaningful addition the Grizzlies made to their bench was Luke Kennard at the trade deadline.

Now, they need to make some more moves to upgrade that bench and let go of some of their young prospects. With where the Grizzlies are right now, there is no room for developing players outside of their big three anyway, so trading youth for experience would help the team and their rookies alike. On other teams, they might actually get some playing time.

As mentioned before, the Grizzlies should add some veterans to their bench. They need leadership, but even more than that, they need some reliable shooting outside of Bane and Kennard. This season, the team finished 23rd in regular-season three-point percentage. That is not good enough to hang with some of the best teams and makes it difficult to stretch the floor.

Besides that, the team is very small behind Adams and lacks offensive rebounding. Before his injury, Adams averaged 5.1 offensive rebounds per game, which made the Grizzlies’ half-court offense a lot easier and more effective. Once he went down, Tillman was the next best thing. He averaged 2 offensive rebounds in the regular season and 2.8 in the playoffs. Jaren Jackson Jr.

stepped up his offensive rebounding game in the playoffs, but they were still missing Adams’ presence under the basket. One bench player will not be able to replicate what Adams gives the Grizzlies, but getting another good offensive rebounder would allow them to at least rebound by committee whenever Adams is not on the court.

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So, after this disappointing postseason, the Grizzlies have plenty of work to do and a clear direction to head in. The only question now is what these off-season moves will actually look like. Who will be their new small forward? Who can they get to add to their bench? How much can their young stars mature over the summer? If all goes well, we will see a new and improved Memphis Grizzlies team competing for a title next season.