The Memphis Grizzlies took a massive step forward last season. Their youthful and talented roster flipped the switch into a win-now contender in impressive fashion. Memphis ended with a record of 56-26 last season which was the second-best record in the NBA. The injury to Ja Morant ended up resulting in the Grizzlies being sent home in the Conference Finals to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors.
The Grizzlies had a solid start to the offseason by resigning Tyus Jones to a 2-year $30 million contract. The veteran guard has proven to be one of the best backup point guards in the NBA and deserves a ton of credit for the Grizzlies' impressive record without Ja Morant. It is also important to note that they lost Kyle Anderson in free agency. The UCLA product elected to take his talents to Minnesota to play with the Timberwolves.
The offseason is far from over and the Grizzlies still have work to do to take the next step. While most of the improvement will occur from their youthful roster continuing to develop, there are still additions that can be made.
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3 moves Grizzlies still must make after first weekend of 2022 NBA free agency
Grizzlies Get: John Collins and Jarrett Culver
Hawks Get: Dillon Brooks
One of the most commonly rumored players to be traded has been John Collins. Despite it seemingly being a certainty he would be dealt on draft night, Collins remains a member of the Hawks. The 24-year-old has shown impressive flashes and would be a positive addition as a lob threat in the Grizzlies' offense. Collins had his best season during the 2019-20 season where he averaged 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, and shot 40.1% on three-point attempts. The Wake Forest product has seen a decrease in production in the past two seasons. Giving him a fresh start in Memphis could end up being the best thing for his career.
While Dillon Brooks has been a key part of the Grizzlies' offense, his production in last year's playoffs was very concerning. The Oregon product shot just 34.9% from the field and 34.7% from beyond the three-point arc during the postseason. Brooks showed no hesitation to let it fly but hurt Memphis a great deal. During Game 5 of the opening round, Brooks shot just 3 for 18 from the field and 1 for 10 on three-point attempts. He also made headlines for his suspension after the flagrant two foul on Gary Payton II.
While Brooks has shown some positive flashes in his time with the team, he also is entering the final year of his contract. If the organization is not confident in his long-term future with the Grizzlies, it would make sense to flip him now. Memphis is fairly deep in shooting guards and wings that could fill Brooks' minutes. Ziaire Williams impressed greatly in his rookie season. Desmond Bane was second in the NBA in three-point percentage at 44.4% last season. They also spent two first-round picks on David Roddy and Jake LaRavia this year. Adding John Collins to the offense and trusting these rotational pieces could prove beneficial for the Grizzlies.
Sign Kessler Edwards
One interesting player still on the free-agent market is Kessler Edwards. The Brooklyn Nets made the surprising decision to rescind their qualifying offer for Edwards which made him an unrestricted free agent. Edwards showed some really positive flashes in his sole season in the NBA. The 21-year-old averaged 20.6 minutes per game for Brooklyn and did a little bit of everything. The Pepperdine product is a switchable defender who stands 6'8″ with a 6'11” wingspan.
It is unlikely the second-year player would call for a major paycheck and he would be a capable contributor. Edwards fits the mold of players the Grizzlies should be targeting and could fit on any NBA team. Memphis must still round out their roster and taking this type of low-risk high-reward signing would prove beneficial. While he likely isn't the difference in contending for a championship, Edwards could become a key piece of the Grizzlies' long-term core.
Keep Danny Green
The Grizzlies made news on draft day by trading De'Anthony Melton in order to get back into the first round and select David Roddy. The Sixers sent out the 23rd pick and Danny Green in the trade. While it has been assumed that Green may simply be cut, Memphis should think twice about doing this.
The 35-year-old tore his ACL and LCL in last year's playoffs and will be unable to suit up for most of the season. Green is hoping to return following the all-star break. While this is an ambitious timeline for the veteran, it is clear he wants to get back on the floor. His play style is non-reliant on athleticism and Green will be able to extend his career for as long as he decides to. His floor-spacing and high basketball IQ are a fit on any NBA roster.
It is beyond his on-court abilities for what should be most appealing to the Grizzlies. As this youthful team focuses on contending, they will need a veteran presence. Few players know how to win in the same way Danny Green does. The three championship rings are evidence of this and should be enough of a reason to keep him around. It is difficult to put a value on this type of leadership but Ja Morant and the rest of the Grizzlies could benefit greatly from having him around.