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Memphis Grizzlies (Last Year: 19-63)
Live 2009 NBA Draft Grades:
2. Hasheem Thabeet, C, Connecticut
Yes, he fits a need for an intimidating presence down low, but Rubio is going to be great. The Griz should have traded down or took Rubio and dealt Conley. That's about the 319,242nd time I've said that. (Pick Grade: Don't Get It)
27. DeMarre Carroll, F, Missouri
"The Junkyard Dog" will bring some physicality and athleticism to the Griz bench. He won't put up big numbers, but will bring some toughness to Memphis. (Pick Grade: Makes Sense)
36. Sam Young, G/F, Pittsburgh
Why a contender didn't draft Young still perplexes me. He is ready to play right away and brings a lot of different things to the floor. The Grizzlies add some needed depth on the wing. (Pick Grade: LOVE IT)
2009 NBA Offseason Transactions:
Grizzlies sign G Allen Iverson
Bucks sign PF Hakim Warrick
Grizzlies cut SG Jerry Stackhouse
Grizzlies acquire SG Jerry Stackhouse and C Nathan Jawai for SG Greg Buckner
Mavericks sign SG Quinton Ross
Grizzlies acquire PF Zach Randolph from Clippers for SG Quentin Richardson
Knicks acquire C Darko Milicic from Grizzlies for G/F Quentin Richardson
2008-09 Season Summary:
The re-building of the Grizzlies continues to take shape. Memphis won 24 games with one of the youngest rosters in the league and have a starting line-up with three 21-year olds, a 22-year old and a 24-year old. Only 4 players remain from the roster that started the 2007-08 season after a multitude of multi-player trades to try and shed some salary. First team All-Rookie O.J. Mayo and his rookie leading 18.5 points was an exciting part of an otherwise mundane season in Memphis and should be the center piece of the offense for the next several seasons.
1. Big Bodies - Hakim Warrick is likely coming back but even so, the Grizzlies need some big guys that can consistently bang the boards on both ends of the floor since they were dead last in the league in that category. No player on the roster averaged even 5 defensive rebounds per game and only Marc Gasol pulled down more than 2 offensive boards per game. They could try to make a major splash in free agency by bringing in a legit starting power forward.
2. Depth on the Bench - Memphis currently has Warrick, Greg Buckner, Marko Jaric and Darko Milicic as their first players off the bench. Only Darko averaged more than 15 minutes per game last season and giving either Buckner or Jaric more time is not an option that the Grizz should be interested in. Finding a point guard to back up Conley and a wing player to spell Mayo and Gay should be an off-season priority. Since Memphis is well under the cap, they should be able to entice a couple free agents to improve their depth.
3. A Viable Third Option - Mayo is on his way to be a certifiable number one option and Rudy Gay is a great second option. Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are not true candidates to become the third part of a successful team and therefore Memphis needs to use their lottery pick on a guy that has that potential. Jordan Hill may have that upside and is likely the target of the Grizzlies first pick since he would fill several needs for this team.