Welcome back to another edition of Flip This Franchise!
Last week we finished off an extremely busy free agency period, as Memphis went on to sign 9 new players to its roster. From a draft class that included the likes of Cam Reddish and P.J. Washington, to bringing in Butler and Cousins on 4-year deals, the Grizzlies have come a long way since the start of the rebuilding period. In case you missed the last blog, below I have included the Grizzlies signings during free agency.
Free Agent Signings:
Jimmy Butler, SF (89 OVR, 29) 4 YEARS/$134M
Demarcus Cousins, C (89 OVR, 28) 4 YEARS/$134M
Elfrid Payton, PG (77 OVR, 25) 2 YEARS/$18M
Shake Milton, SG (77 OVR, 22) 2 YEARS/$16M
Avery Bradley, SG (76 OVR, 29) 1 YEAR/$4.8M
C.J. Miles, SF (75 OVR, 32) 1 YEAR/$8.7M
Thabo Sefolosha, SF (75 OVR, 35) 1 YEAR/$3M
Raul Neto, PG (73 OVR, 27) 1 YEAR/$1.5M
Kyle O’Quinn, C (72 OVR, 30) 1 YEAR/$1.5M
While the team looks drastically different on paper now, I still felt as if there were moves to be made before the start of the 2019-20 season. At the beginning of the offseason, C.J. Miles accepted his player option, leaving us no choice but to bring him back to the team on an 8M deal. Even though Miles has proven to be a serviceable wing player off the bench during his NBA career, I wanted to see what he was worth on the open market now that Butler and Reddish are eating a majority of the minutes at the SF position.
The biggest need, the backup PG position, was also another area that I wanted to lock down before the start of the season. With that in mind, it’s time to see what moves the Grizzlies decided to make before the start of the regular season.
Grizzlies trade: C.J. Miles, SF
Clippers trade: ‘20 1st Round Pick (76ers, lottery protected) / ‘21 2nd Round Pick
Grizzlies trade: Thabo Sefolosha, SF / ‘20 1st Round Pick / ‘24 2nd Round Pick / ‘21 2nd Round Pick (Raptors)
Nuggets trade: Monte Morris, PG / Amile Jefferson, PF
Overall, we were able to land a young and talented backup PG in Monte Morris from the Denver Nuggets who comes in at a 78 OVR at 23 years old, in exchange for a slew of picks plus Thabo Sefolosha. While we did have to give up our 1st round pick to get Morris, we were able to receive the 76ers 1st rounder which, while although lottery protected, still gives us two first round picks in the 2020 NBA Draft. Amile Jefferson was waived before the start of the season and was just a filler in the trade to help with the cap requirement. Even though we had to give up Sefolosha, he would have barely touched the court with Butler and Reddish taking a majority of his minutes. As another filler, I went on to sign Joe Johnson on a veteran’s minimum deal to not only fill the position gap, but to also provide a veteran leadership role off the bench.
With all of these moves finalized, I have posted the new depth chart below before the start of the season.
Current Depth Chart
PG: Elfrid Payton (77 OVR, age 25), Monte Morris (78 OVR, age 23), Raul Neto (73 OVR, age 27)
SG: Caris LeVert (81 OVR, age 24), Shake Milton (77 OVR, age 22), Avery Bradley (76 OVR, age 29)
SF: Jimmy Butler (89 OVR, age 29), Cam Reddish (78 OVR, age 19), Joe Johnson (72 OVR, age 38)
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr. (81 OVR, age 19), Ivan Rabb (76 OVR, age 22), P.J. Washington (72 OVR, age 20)
C: Demarcus Cousins (89 OVR, age 28) Mitchell Robinson (77 OVR, age 21), Kyle O’Quinn (72 OVR, age 30)
As a whole, I am very pleased with how the entire offseason went. Not only do we now have talented young players to develop around Jackson Jr, but we also have quality veterans and skilled bench players who will provide much needed depth and support.
Stay tuned for the next Flip This Franchise blog where we advance all the way to the trade deadline and see just how well this Memphis roster can perform. Have any predictions on what the Grizzlies record will be by the deadline? Tweet me your predictions @christhorkilsen
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