2012-13 Season Summary:
After setting a franchise record with 56 wins and impressive first two rounds of the playoffs, the Memphis Grizzlies were swept by the Spurs in Memphis' first ever trip to the Western Conference Finals. It's hard to find many negatives with all that success, but the Grizzlies' management decided not to retain head coach Lionel Hollins, which seems rather harsh.
Memphis was paced by its productive trio of Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol. Rudy Gay was the team's leading scorer but in a reportedly cap-cutting move, dealt Gay and his massive contract in a 3-team deal that landed Memphis Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, and Ed Davis. Prince struggled in his new home and as a result, the team's offensive production dipped (finished 27th in the league in scoring) meaning the Grizzlies had to rely on their stout defense (allowed least point in league) to pull out victories.
Besides dealing Gay, Memphis also pretty much gave away Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington to Cleveland to avoid having to pay the luxury tax. That cut into the depth of the team, but the Grizzlies still got solid production from starting shooting guard Tony Allen and reserve Jerryd Bayless. However, the rest of the bench, which included guys like Quincy Pondexter, Darrell Arthur, Davis, and Daye, failed to provide the boost needed to get Memphis over the edge.
2013-14 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Marc Gasol/Ed Davis
PF: Zach Randolph/Darrell Arthur/*Jon Leuer
SF: Tayshaun Prince/*Austin Daye
SG: Quincy Pondexter
PG: Mike Conley/^Jerryd Bayless/Tony Wroten
NBA Free Agents:
SG-Tony Allen (UFA)
PG-Keyon Dooling (UFA)
^PG-Jerryd Bayless (PO)
*SF-Austin Daye (RFA)
*PF-Jon Leuer (RFA)
2013-14 Team Salary: Approximately $57.5 million
NBA Offseason Team Needs:
1. Head Coach:
Despite all of the success the Memphis Grizzlies have had the past few years under Lionel Hollins, he was shown the door this offseason, which is a pretty bold move by management. Now, Memphis has set the bar incredibly high in finding a replacement for Hollins in someone who not only keep the team playing among the best out west but trying to take the franchise to the next level.
2. Shooting Guard:
With Tony Allen an unrestricted free agent and Jerryd Bayless able to opt out of his contract, the Grizzlies must address their shooting guard position. Allen has proven to be a valuable asset and Memphis should make a push to re-sign him. If not, the Grizzlies needs a starting caliber shooting guard unless they feel comfortable starting Quincy Pondexter at the two (which they shouldn't.) Bayless opting out of his contract would hurt as well since he and Conley played in the same backcourt at times.
3. Bench Scoring:
This becomes a more pressing need if Bayless is not back in Memphis, but even if he does return, the team needs some more scoring punch from its bench because guys like Arthur, Pondexter, and Davis are not going to get the job done.