Welcome back to another edition of Flip This Franchise.
In the previous blog, the Grizzlies made four massive trades and the team welcomed seven new players along with a ‘19 2nd Round Pick. The biggest move was letting go of Grizzlies vet Mike Conley, but with a loaded free agency and draft class coming up, it seemed like the right time to part ways. If you missed the last blog, below is the updated depth chart along with the underlined players I am looking to keep for the 2019-20 season.
Current Depth Chart:
PG: Patrick Beverley, Delon Wright, Jevon Carter
SG: Caris LeVert, Avery Bradley, John Jenkins, Julian Washburn
SF: DeMarre Carroll, CJ Miles, Bruno Caboclo, Yuta Watanabe
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr., Ivan Rabb
C: Montrezl Harrell, Mitchell Robinson, Joakim Noah, Luke Kornet
With the depth chart above, I thought the team would be able to win about 20-30 games this season. As much as I would like the team to completely tank and go 0-82 to land Zion Williamson, I still want assets to build around this year. When the opportunity came to trade for Levert, Harrell, and Robinson, it was hard to pass up. I like their potential and their current contracts, which still allow me to sign two max-slots in 2019-20.
At the trade deadline, this team had managed to rack up a record of 26-29, the 8th best in the Western Conference. When I first saw this, I honestly was pretty confused as to how we kept winning games. I mean as much as I’d like to see the Grizzlies win, the whole idea of this series is to rebuild a team and the “winning” part usually comes later on down the road. Not to mention, as the 8th best team, you are either on the brink of making the playoffs or not making it at all, so to be in the middle of the pack is frustrating as a GM, but exciting as a fan. So Dave Gettleman, if you are reading this, please take notes.
Not to mention, we’re still without a first round pick for the 2019-20 season. As a result of the moves made so far, a lot of players under contract are on deals that will expire at the end of the season. That includes everyone except: Carter, Jackson Jr., Harrell, and Robinson. As good as this is for the Grizzlies in the off-season, it doesn’t give the team too much wiggle room when it comes to trades. With that said, I still wanted to try and make another move before the season ended.
Grizzlies trade: Delon Wright, PG / John Jenkins, SG / Yuta Watanabe, SF / ‘19 2nd Round (Celtics) / ‘22 2nd Round
Jazz trade: Tony Bradley, C / Raul Neto, PG / Naz Mitrou-Long, PG / ‘19 1st Round
As a result of this move, the Grizzlies now have a 1st Round pick in the 2019-20 draft, which is the main reason why I went through with the deal. Unfortunately, we did have to give up Delon Wright, a PG with solid potential and a great back-up to Beverley. However, Wright is on a one year contract with no team option, meaning he would become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. In return we also picked up Tony Bradley, a 73 OVR C at only 21 years old, on a 2-year/$1.96m deal, plus Neto and Mitrou-Long who are both on one-year deals. I don’t mind giving up second round picks, unless they are in the 30’s. Typically, second rounders are toss ups to even make the active roster. I know in the actual NBA, the second round has become a way to find hidden gems like Draymond Green, Manu Ginobili, and Marc Gasol, but in 2K you usually end up with some scrub not worth a rookie deal. Below I have listed the updated depth chart, post-trade.
New Depth Chart:
PG: Patrick Beverley, Raul Neto, Jevon Carter, Naz Mitrou-Long
SG: Caris LeVert, Avery Bradley, Julian Washburn
SF: DeMarre Carroll, CJ Miles, Bruno Caboclo
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr., Ivan Rabb
C: Montrezl Harrell, Mitchell Robinson, Joakim Noah, Tony Bradley, Luke Kornet
All-in-all, I think it’s a great deal. The Grizzlies needed a first round draft pick. And although the current team had managed to grab the eighth seed, we were going to get swept by the Warriors anyways.
Stay tuned for the next Flip This Franchise where we will simulate to the end of the regular season. Do you think the Grizzlies will continue to hold on to the eighth seed, move-up, or embrace the tank?
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