The Memphis Grizzlies could be in trouble, come July. Three guards in their rotation may wind up leaving the team via free agency, and Memphis could be looking at a whole new back court to go with Mike Conley Jr. and Quincy Pondexter.
Tony Allen and Keyon Dooling are both unrestricted free agents starting July 1st, and the loss of Allen specifically would hurt big time. Memphis would like to have Allen back for sure, but depending on the market for the elite defender, that may not happen.
Another guard who could look to test the waters of free agency is young point guard Jerryd Bayless.
Bayless has a player option that he could choose to exercise, making him a free agent this summer. The 24 year old point guard out of Arizona has been in the NBA four years now and appeared in 95 games last season — including playoffs — for the Grizzlies.
In the regular season, Bayless shot a mediocre 41.9 percent from the field overall, including 35.3 percent from outside the arc. In 22 minutes per game he also gave Memphis 3.3 assists on average.
In the playoffs, however, Bayless’ shooting numbers dropped to 30.5 percent from beyond the arc and 35.8 percent overall. Even though his shooting dropped, Bayless also took more shots per game in the postseason.
I understand the guy is only 24 and has room for improvement, but with where the Grizzlies are at as a team right now, I don’t see a reason they should bring him back if he opts out. Memphis needs consistency in their back court and Bayless just hasn’t given that to them, especially offensively.
Memphis would be best served re-signing Tony Allen and finding a replacement for Bayless via free agency or even the second round of the NBA Draft where they have multiple picks.