Well, that was a massive disappointment. The Memphis Grizzlies were expected to be one of the biggest threats in the Western Conference in the playoffs. They had the second-best record in the West, after all. Despite a rocky end to the regular season, Memphis was able to right the ship in time for the postseason.

Unfortunately, the Grizzlies ran into a freight train when they faced the surging Los Angeles Lakers. Despite the confidence (or arrogance, depending on who you ask) from the team, they simply were overmatched against LeBron James and co. They lost in six games, ending their supposed deep playoff run in the first round.

The offseason will bring a lot of questions around the current Grizzlies roster. Let's examine the Grizzlies' pending free agent list and see which players the team should keep for the next year.

Xavier Tillman

The Grizzlies really have only two players that could leave the team in free agency in 2023. Those players are Dillon Brooks and Xavier Tillman. We'll talk more about Brooks later, but Memphis has a really easy decision to make with the latter player.

Tillman was a second-round pick by the Grizzlies in 2020, the same class in which Desmond Bane was drafted. On the surface, Tillman's stats look underwhelming. He's averaging just seven points per game on not-so-good efficiency, after all. However, Tillman's impact doesn't always show up in the stat sheet.

That incredible toolset of Xavier Tillman came in clutch during their lone series against the Lakers this season. Not many people can guard LeBron James and say that they did a good job, but he did. LeBron had his way with Dillon Brooks and the other Grizzlies, but Tillman was the one nut he couldn't quite crack. He did a phenomenal job guarding the King, while also providing solid impact on the boards (eight per game in thirty minutes).

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Why is this an easy decision for the Grizzlies? Well, it's simply because Xavier Tillman's 2023-24 season is a club option. For the cheap price of around $1 millon, Memphis can keep the defensive forward on the roster. The cost for keeping him compared to his value is astronomical. Unless the Grizzlies plan on clearing space for a top-tier player, keeping Tillman should be an easy option.

Dillon Brooks (maybe?)

Let's talk about Dillon Brooks. There are many, MANY reasons why the Grizzlies shouldn't keep him around for the next season. He's an unrestricted free agent, after all. Despite his antics, Brooks might command a pretty penny for a team looking to beef up their frontcourt. He might not be worth it at a certain price point.

What the price point is, we don't know yet. However, if the Grizzlies somehow manage to have a new Dillon Brooks contract that is fairly reasonable, then it might make sense for him to stay with Memphis.

One of the biggest arguments against keeping Brooks around is his eventual cap hit. With a Desmond Bane extension on the horizon, the Grizzlies will want to keep the payroll outside of him, JJJ and Ja Morant to a mininum. He'll have his club option picked up next season, but after that? Memphis needs to clear space for him. Cutting Dillon Brooks is an easy way to clear some potential space.

However, there are certainly scenarios where it couldn't hurt the Grizzlies to sign Dillon Brooks in NBA free agency. For all of his trash talking, Brooks is actually a pretty solid defender. He's the primary stopper in the starting lineup, and he does a mostly decent job on other players. If they can get a much more reasonable number for Brooks, then it's certainly worth keeping the brash forward.