2014 Memphis Grizzlies

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Memphis Grizzlies (Last Year: 50-32)

2013-14 Season Summary:
Led by one of the top defenses in the league, the Memphis Grizzlies followed up their trip to the Western Conference Finals with another solid season. The playoff magic fizzled though as the Grizzlies nearly pulled off the opening round upset of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs but fell short in a seven-game series. Memphis’ offseason focus centers around leading scorer Zach Randolph, who could become a free agent, but will more than likely re-sign with the team.

2014-15 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Marc Gasol/Kosta Koufos

PF: #Zach Randolph/*Ed Davis/Jon Leuer

SF: Tayshaun Prince/Quincy Pondexter

SG: Courtney Lee/Tony Allen/Jamaal Franklin

PG: Mike Conley/Nick Calathes

NBA Free Agents:

#PF-Zach Randolph (PO)

*PF-Ed Davis (RFA)

SF-Mike Miller (UFA)

PF-James Johnson (UFA)

PG-Beno Udrih (UFA)

2014-15 Team Salary: Approximately $50.7 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Randolph’s Return: Zach Randolph has a player option on the final year of his contract worth $16.5 million. All indications point toward Memphis and Randolph agreeing to a long-term extension to remain with the Grizzlies. Randolph has been a key contributor for this franchise for a number of years, so bringing him back is a priority.

2. Small Forward: Mike Miller’s a free agent; Tayshaun Prince is well past his prime; and Quincy Pondexter is coming off a season-ending injury. Memphis needs to address its need for a small forward, preferably someone who can create off the dribble and provide some needed athleticism. Assuming Randolph re-signs, the Grizzlies must use their mid-level exception or first-round pick to fill this void.

3. Backup Point Guard: Beno Udrih was signed late in the season and played a key role off the bench for the Grizzlies down the stretch. Memphis should try to re-sign him for a reasonable rate, but if Udrih heads elsewhere, the team needs to find a reliable backup to Mike Conley.

4. Frontcourt Depth: Memphis was left scrambling a bit when Marc Gasol went down with an injury this past season since the roster didn’t have a whole lot of talent behind he and Randolph in the frontcourt. With James Johnson a free agent and Ed Davis a restricted free agent, the Grizzlies should look to find some improved depth inside.

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