The Grizzlies bowed out of the postseason in another Game 7 — this time in the first round — and for the second time in as many seasons they talked about needing more outside shooting and a more capable backup point guard to improve the roster.
But the summer will be more than just about plugging holes for the Grizzlies. They’ll have difficult decisions to make with six players entering free agency while trying to manage a payroll that will have little room under the luxury-tax threshold next season.
Memphis never solved their point guard situation, either, and Hollins preferred to play starter Mike Conley long minutes most nights rather than rely on rookies Jeremy Pargo and Josh Selby.
“I want a point guard who is quick and can guard somebody for as long as we need him to guard, and who can get us into some sort of offensive flow,” Hollins said.
Perhaps the biggest question is whether the Grizzlies are willing to or can re-sign restricted free agent O.J. Mayo, who has been considered their best outside threat the past two seasons. But Mayo struggled to adjust to the sixth man role. He also shot just 27 percent in the series against the Clippers.
Mayo stated he wants to play point guard going forward, and he’ll certainly be looking for a deal that pays more than the $5.6 million he earned this season. Despite obvious limitations on the ball and inconsistent shooting, what Mayo might command could be too steep for the Grizzlies.
Forward Rudy Gay acknowledged that he’ll gladly shift into recruitment mode.
“Hopefully, whoever we decide to go after will see the progress we made as a franchise and want to be a part of that,” Gay said. “If it comes to me talking to somebody into coming, I’ll do it. I’ve done it before.”
Before the free agent frenzy begins, they Griz must prepare for the draft next month.
The Grizzlies will select 25th after the Los Angeles Lakers won a tie-breaker that gave them the 24th pick. They don’t have a second-round pick because the Griz must send the Philadelphia 76ers their 54th selection to satisfy the trade for Speights.
(via Commercial Appeal)