At three games under .500, the Beale Street Bears (BSB) currently sit at the lower end of the Western Conference standings.
Despite having the 12th highest salary within the Association, the team has failed to earn a record better than 9 Western Conference teams that currently have less on their books than the BSBs. With a salary commitment of close to 69 million, the Grizz host the West’s 4th highest payroll, despite touting the Conference’s fourth worst record.
In terms of the team’s upcoming offseason, 6 players are locked in for next season:
Marc Gasol is to make close to 16 million next season, in the final year of his deal.
Mike Conley will make upwards of 9 million for the next two seasons.
Tayshaun Prince is to make around 8 million, and Tony Allen is signed for three more seasons at 5 million annually.
Rounding up the committed, Jon Leuer and Jamaal Franklin will earn a million a piece.
A rough estimate of 40 million is already accounted for regarding the upcoming season – a fact that may/should concern the BSB faithful.
In addition, Zach Randolph has a player option for 16.5 million – which may be the defining factor in terms of the team’s spending flexibility this summer. Despite being a fan favorite, adding that high of an amount to the already almost full cap may actually hurt the team’s potential moving forward.
On the bright side, the BSB payroll looks very promising following the upcoming season, as only Conley (9.7 million) and Allen (5 million) remain on the books.
Unless trades are made to free up some cash, the Grizz appear to have a firmly set roster for this season and next – meaning a 12th place finish in the West this year may only get worse as everyone progresses another year in age.
Thankfully, in a very deep 2014 draft, the team still possess their first round pick – a pick sure to occur sooner than later.