Grizz need to continue hitting the free agent market–pursue Trevor Ariza
Memphis kicked off their free agency with a great signing in Vince Carter. Carter is a great pickup for his scoring and veteran leadership. However, if the Grizzlies can net another free agent, preferably at small forward, then they could really have a fantastic off-season. There are still players available, it’s just a matter of finding the right ones to target.
Trevor Ariza fits the Grizzlies profile to a tee, and he could step into the starting small forward position immediately. Ariza can defend the best in the league. He has a nose for the ball as he averaged 1.6 steals per game, and he is great at staying in front of his man. Due to his length and size, he is primed to defend on the perimeter, but he can also step in down low to provide some help.
While Ariza can defend very well, which fits into the Memphis culture, he can also shoot. The one thing that was notably improved in his game last year was his three point shooting. He shot above 40% for the first time in his career at 40.7%. In fact, he shot more threes this past year then he did the two years prior combined. Not only did he shoot for volume, but he was efficient as well. If the Grizzlies were able to stretch the floor with Vince Carter and Trevor Ariza on the floor at the same time…well, the league better watch out.
Memphis could possibly need to target a big man as well, but getting a player like Ariza should be a priority. The Grizzlies would more than likely have to do a sign and trade that included Tayshaun Prince, otherwise affording Ariza would prove difficult. The biggest problem would probably be trying to get Washington to take Prince’s bloated contract since they are looking to contend in the East this year.
The Grizzlies getting Vince Carter was a smart, proactive move, but they need to continue to work the free agent market. LeBron James moving to Cleveland has broken the floodgates, and now players are signing left and right. Ariza has some strong suitors interested in his services, but don’t count the Grizz out. Vince Carter wasn’t publicly on the Grizzlies radar, and look how that turned out. Memphis has been making smart moves so far, and we should look for that trend to continue.