The NBA’s Free Agency period has just started, and with it comes rumors after rumors on which players will be going to which teams, most of them being false and grounded upon no basis. However, it is always still fun to speculate around the possibilities that free agency can bring to a team.
Just imagining players such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, or Chris Bosh joining one’s favorite team is enough to make any NBA fan enjoy free agency just through the endless possibilities of roster changes available. Unfortunately, there are many teams that will not be able to make a big splash in this year’s free agency due to the salary cap, and the Memphis Grizzlies are one of those teams.
The Grizzlies filled most of their needs when they resigned Zach Randolph and drafted Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes, meaning that they will likely have a very small splash in this year’s free agency. However, there is still one big flaw in the Grizzlies’ roster: the lack of a sharpshooting wingman.
The Grizzlies are one of the worst teams on offense as is, so the lack of a sharpshooter throughout the season would put a damper on the team’s plans to return to the playoffs. Because of this, the Grizzlies’ front office is seems to be putting their focus on making sure that the team has one more good outside shooter to add to the team this year.
The following four players are players that the Grizzlies should try to pursue the most to fix their major need on offense. While there are obviously more players that can fill the same role and arguably can fill it better, these are a few players that have either been linked to the Grizzlies or would be strong picks for the team to use their mid-level exception on.
Mike Miller, SG/SF
Miller was on the team last year and was vital in many games. As the only true sharpshooter last season for the Grizzlies, it wouldn’t be hard to argue that without Miller, the Grizzlies would have lost a couple of games that they ended up winning.
He probably doesn’t have too many years left in the league as a great shooter, but he hasn’t shown that he’s losing his talent just yet. Bringing him back for one more year would be the team’s best decision because he will command very little money and would benefit the team more so than most players could.
Paul Pierce, SF
There are reports that Pierce has talked with the Grizzlies’ front office sometime in the past couple of days. If this is true, that means that there is a legitimate chance that we could be seeing Pierce end his career in Memphis. This is something that shouldn’t make Grizzlies fans upset, either. While not as good as Miller, Pierce is a solid shooter beyond the arc even though he’s been slowing down as of late. However, he is just a good scorer overall, and that is something that the Grizzlies could definitely use, as they were the 4th worst offense throughout the whole league last year.
Jameer Nelson, PG
Nelson would be a risky pick. On one hand, Nelson has shown in the past that he would be a great player to any team that would want him, assuming that he plays as well next year as he did throughout most of his career. On the other hand, Nelson’s most recent year is one that the former Orlando Magic point guard would like to forget: his stats dropped around the board, and, based on his age, this may only be the start of his downturn.
He would still be worth taking a risk on just because of the upside. Nelson could, like all of the players on this list, help fix the Grizzlies’ need for a perimeter shooter, and he is a solid (although not outstanding) ball handler. Having Nelson come off of the bench may be a role that suits him better than starting at point guard now that he is in his later years, and the Grizzlies could be able to give him that chance to prove that there is still some juice in the 32-year-old’s body.
Nick Young, SG/SF
After deciding to leave the Los Angeles Lakers and to not finish the last year of his contract, Young will enter the free agent market as someone who may be able to command big money from a franchise desperately in need for an offensive-minded wingman. Young is on this list as someone who is probably the least likely to join the Grizzlies because he may command a bit bigger of a contract than the team can afford. However, if the Grizzlies can convince him to come to Memphis, it may be the best decision the team can make.
Young had one of the best seasons of his career last year, scoring a career high in points in what was actually a pretty small amount of minutes overall. The problem with Young is that he can’t do anything other than score. He can’t really rebound or play defense, and while he isn’t the worst at grabbing steals, he isn’t very strong in that category, either. However, the Grizzlies’ coaching system may be able to fix this problem of his. Even if it doesn’t, though, the team will still be getting one of the more underrated scorers in the league, and that should be enough for the Grizzlies to take a risk on him.