This 2014 NBA offseason is going to be a pivotal one for the Memphis Grizzlies as the team is looking to make moves to get one step closer to being true championship contenders. Luckily for the Grizzlies, they have the money to do so.
The Grizzlies will have enough money this offseason to be able to go after one or potentially two higher tier free agents while still being able to re-sign and retain one or two key role players from last season, all while keeping their core of Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol intact.
The Grizzlies’ top priority should be to speak to forwards Pau Gasol and Luol Deng.
Gasol is an aging veteran, but could still prove to be a high impact player for the Grizzlies should the team use him correctly. Gasol is a finesse player who is capable of scoring both in the post and stepping out and knocking down shots with ease, as his range extends all the way out to even the three point line at times. Gasol would provide offense for a team that has lacked it over the last few seasons, as well as great chemistry with the other front court players, especially his brother Marc who he plays with for Spain in FIBA games. Gasol could be a missing piece to true title contention, but Deng may be able to provide an even bigger impact.
Deng is a two-way small forward that can really shine when he is not being asked to be the primary star on the team. When Deng was able to be a complementary piece to Derrick Rose on the Chicago Bulls, Deng flourished as a guy who could both get out in transition and knock down open three pointers. Deng could really provide an offensive spark to a team that needs one, as well as play big minutes at small forward, which is one of the positions of weakness for the Grizzlies. Deng is also one of the elite perimeter defenders in the NBA, so he could be a great offensive piece for the team without giving up anything on defense.
Either veteran would be a huge upgrade for the team, and if the Grizzlies could land at least one of the two, it would go a long way in making a deep run in the playoffs both next season and in the future.
In terms of retaining their own players, Mike Miller should be a top target for the team, as he was arguably the best three-point shooter for the Grizzlies last season. The Grizzlies need to continue to find shooters to space the floor for the big men to be able to do their thing in the post, and Miller definitely fits the bill, as he is arguably one of the best three-point shooters in the league.
The Grizzlies did choose to not extend a qualifying offer to forward Ed Davis, but that does not mean the team cannot re-sign him either. The Grizzlies may be doing that in order to offer him a long-term more cap-friendly deal, which could ease the financial situation in Memphis for years to come. Davis could still be a great young piece for the Grizzlies, so if the team could sign him at a reasonable price, that should definitely be a move the team makes this offseason.
The Grizzlies must upgrade in a few areas, and if they could sign either Gasol or Deng as well as keep one or both of Miller and Davis, then the team would certainly have a place in the Western Conference playoffs next season, and potentially a spot in the NBA championship.