The Memphis Grizzlies’ roster is nearly complete, but some positions could use veteran free agency depth.
The Grizzlies selected two first-round picks who are expected to spend most of their time at small forward and power forward. Losing De’Anthony Melton via trade for David Roddy hurts overall guard depth, but picking up Kennedy Chandler at No. 38 overall was a move Memphis felt he couldn’t pass on.
Most of the focus on what the Grizzlies do next starts with Tyus Jones and the backup point guard position. The Grizzlies also have Steven Adams, Brandon Clarke, Xavier Tillman Sr. and Santi Aldama at center. With limited space on the roster and free agency negotiations set to begin at 5 p.m. Thursday, here are some more names to watch outside of the backup point guard situation.
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Potential guard targets: Victor Oladipo, Gary Harris, Lance Stephenson, DaVon Reed
Melton’s loss took away some of the depth from the shooting guard position. Versatile reserve wingers like John Konchar and Ziaire Williams can play both guards in a pinch, and Grizzlies draft pick Vince Williams will have the opportunity to prove himself, but find a guy with better playing ability to accompanying the backup leader will be critical. Victor Oladipo’s defense shone in Miami while his offensive repertoire came in flashes. Lance Stephenson is a veteran who provided a noticeable spark when he was signed by the Indiana Pacers, and his ability to play three positions fits well with the playing traits of the Grizzlies. Gary Harris can still score and play tenacious defense. Considering he averaged 11.1 points and shot 38% on 3-pointers for the Orlando Magic last season, he would do well. One underrated player the Grizzlies might consider is Davon Reed. He gave the Denver Nuggets a boost during the game. He stands 6-foot-5 with a bulky frame, long arms and great shooting ability. He had a notable streak in January where LeBron James tried to attack him on his own several times but returned the ball.
Potential future targets: TJ Warren, Nic Batum, Otto Porter Jr.
The Grizzlies are loaded up front after drafting two players in the first round who could help here. Memphis may still need to add one more veteran to complete the field. Nicolas Batum and Otto Porter Jr. make sense as veterans who have been in winning environments and can shoot basketball. Shooting is a priority for the Grizzlies this summer. Shooting may not be TJ Warren’s main strength, but he is a certified scorer. He has played four games over the past two seasons. Remember, the last time he was healthy he was one of the best players in the NBA bubble.
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Potential targets of the center: None
The Grizzlies have four centers on the current NBA roster, and that’s more than enough. Jaren Jackson Jr. will also get center minutes and Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins even hinted that first-round pick David Roddy could get small-ball minutes at five. Tillman and Aldama will be playing in the Summer League, so Memphis is giving them every chance to earn a bigger role. While big sports hubs like JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard make sense, those veterans may want more consistent roles than they’re likely to get elsewhere.