The Memphis Grizzlies have made some significant moves this off season. And this article may turn into two parts if Chris Wallace has anything to say about it. Wallace, Grizzlies General Manager, has mentioned that Memphis isn't done making moves during the Vince Carter press introduction. Could a trade be coming? We'll have to wait and see but in the mean time lets take a look at what they have done:
Vince Carter (3 years 12 million)
This will probably be the biggest move Memphis makes. Carter brings some of everything to this team. He reinvented his career in Dallas. Carter will make a great sixth man for a team lacking bench depth and outside shooting. Carter has become a great 3 point shooter while in Dallas, he can create his own shoot, is a great pick and roll player, and occasionally still brings some of that ridiculous athleticism at the age of 37. Vince will be the first guy off the bench and can even start at small forward if Memphis deemed it necessary. However, it's not all so sunny. While Carter is still a great player at his age he still makes the occasional boneheaded play. Carter sometimes forgets he's no longer a superstar and tries to play hero-ball. And at age 37 he doesn't have much left. This contract may become a liability next year when he's 38 and starts to severely fall off. Luckily, the third year of his contract is only partially guaranteed if he really slips.
Zach Randolph (2 years 20 million)
This was a no brainer for Memphis. Even though they have to deal with his expensive player option for this upcoming season it gives them flexibility for the two years after to resign Marc Gasol to a max contract. Even though it looks like a major discount for Memphis with the player option this is just under what Randolph would make in the open market.
Beno Udrih (Bi-annual Exception)
Memphis resigned Udrih with their bi annual exception. His salary will start at 2.1 million and slightly go up in the second year. It's a smart decision considering he's familiar with their playbook and had a productive playoffs with the team. Nick Calathes will be out due to his suspension so Udrih fills an important need at a cheap price. The market for cheap back up point guards just wasn't there this off season. The Grizzlies showed interest in Brian Roberts and even though Roberts is younger and a better three point shooter, Udrih is a better all around player and play maker, something Memphis really needs. Udrih may be a little inconsistent but this was a need based signing and keeping the core intact will pay off.
Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes (2014 Draft)
I already addressed the draft but these are both solid picks. Jordan Adams has been playing well in the summer league. Stokes hasn't signed a contract yet but expect it to happen sometime soon. Now with Adams, Memphis may have too many wing players. Lets not forget Jamaal Franklin received very little playing time last season but was drafted in the hopes he'd develop into a solid offensive weapon. One of these young guys will either be traded or see very little playing time.
Overall Grade: B
The Grizzlies didn't make any groundbreaking moves or signings but they got the right players. Memphis as of right now has too many wing players: Tony Allen, Vince Carter, Courtney Lee, Jordan Adams, Quincy Pondexter, Tayshaun Prince, and Jamaal Franklin. It's very likely at least one of these guys gets traded. There's just not enough minutes to go around towards the variety of skill sets these guys possess. The Grizzlies are headed in the right direction. They improved their biggest need, shooting. Do they moves make them a championship team? Most likely not. But it is improvement and if they stay healthy they will be a dangerous playoff team.