FTF Memphis Grizzlies - 2020 Free Agency

Welcome back to another edition of Flip This Franchise!

As the 2020 NBA Draft concludes, the Grizzlies took a 6’7 185-lb Greek SG by the name of Georgios Kalaitzakis, who will be spending the 2020-21 season developing overseas. Heading in-to NBA Free Agency, the Grizzlies are thin at the guard position, so they are hoping that with a year overseas, Georgios will be able to develop and grow from his 68 OVR to become a serviceable player in future seasons.

Before NBA Free Agency begins, the Grizzlies had to protect players going in to the expansion draft with the Nashville Stars now in play. As a result of that, the Stars ended up taking Shake Milton, a 77 OVR SG with 1yr/$8M left on his contract. This move left the Grizzlies with two active SG’s left on their roster, Caris LeVert, an RFA and Avery Bradley, an UFA. With this in mind, upgrading the SG position became the biggest priority for the Grizzlies heading in to free agency. 

In terms of the other positions, the PG combo of Elfrid Payton and Monte Morris is still intact for the 2020-21 season, with each player on a relatively cheap one-year deal. For the SF position, the Grizzlies have the star veteran presence of Jimmy Butler to go along with Cam Reddish and OG Anunoby. At PF, the Grizzlies are led by the franchise centerpiece, Jaren Jackson Jr., but will need to consider where to turn at the back-up position with Ivan Rabb on an expiring contract and P.J. Washington, who has been disgruntled with the team ever since he was sent down to the G-League. At C, Demarcus Cousins and Mitchell Robinson are both under contract for the 2020-21 season and with their offensive and defensive prowess respectively, form one of the deadliest combos at the C position in the league.

As a whole, the biggest needs in free agency will be at the SG and PF positions. Let’s now take a look at who the Grizzlies decided to sign in free agency.

Free Agent Signings

Caris LeVert, SG (80 OVR, 25) 3 YEARS/$51M

Alec Peters, PF (78 OVR, 25) 1 YEAR/$7.5M

Raul Neto, PG (75 OVR, 28) 1 YEAR/$1.6M

Tony Allen, SG (73 OVR, 38) 1 YEAR/$1.6M

Tarik Black, C (73 OVR, 28) 1 YEAR/$1.6M

Dairis Bertans, SG (71 OVR, 31) 1 YEAR/$898K

In total, the Grizzlies brought in a total of 6 players to help fill the void for the 2020-21 season, one of which being Grizzlies fan-favorite and GOAT defender, Tony Allen! At 38 years of age, Allen won’t be seeing too much action on the court, but will provide a strong veteran presence in the locker room and is a player that knows what it takes to play at a high-level on the Grizzlies.

Aside from that, we chose not to match the 2yr/$17M deal that the Bulls offered for Ivan Rabb and instead went on to match LeVert’s 3yr/$51M deal instead. In this sense, we decided to go with sharpshooting big man Alec Peters on a 1yr-deal (B INS, A- MID, B 3PT), who will help spread the floor with his offensive versatility. Aside from LeVert and Peters, the other players signed will be used to provide depth off the bench, but will not necessarily see any minutes unless the team gets bogged down with injuries like we did last year with Butler’s broken leg. 

Neto will serve as the 3rd PG on the roster behind Morris and Payton, Black (A REB, B INSD) will serve as the 3rd C on the roster behind Robinson and Cousins, while Bertans (A+ 3PT) will serve as the 4th SG on the roster behind Allen and LeVert.

With free agency now wrapped up, and the SG position still lacking overall depth, could there be a trade in the works? Stay tuned for the next Flip This Franchise to see if the Grizzlies will make any moves before the regular season begins. Think the Grizzlies made the right moves this offseason? Tweet me your opinions @christhorkilsen

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