The Memphis Grizzlies’ approach to this offseason has done nothing but indicate that they are planning to stay the course and continue to build around Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and Mike Conley. When Zach Randolph became a free agent, the team made sure to lock him up for the long-term, and when the draft came, the team didn’t even so much as attempt any radical moves to land a high lottery pick in a loaded draft.
The Grizzlies clearly are not rebuilding or retooling to contend in five years or more. They are instead fine-tuning the roster to win a championship right now. They let Ed Davis go, they retained Beno Udrih and Nick Calathes, and they also drafted Jordan Adams out of UCLA who will provide an additional three-point threat off the bench. Outside of hanging on to Zach Randolph and keeping Chris Wallace as general manager, those are the biggest offseason moves of the summer for the organization.
I personally think the Grizzlies are doing the right thing by “fine-tuning” the roster rather than blowing it up. Let’s not forget that they took the Thunder to a game 7 last season and probably would have won the series had Zach Randolph not gotten suspended. That fact alone has to give the team hope that they can win a championship with the core that they have.
Plus, outside of the Spurs, who else in the Western Conference would you really say has better odds of winning a championship than the Grizzlies? The Thunder have issues with their bench and coaching, the Clippers are in complete turmoil, and the Warriors, Rockets, and Trail Blazers all failed to make major upgrades in the offseason. Only the Mavericks made a significant move with the addition of Chandler Parsons, and I’m not at all ready to say that the Mavericks have vaulted the Grizzlies.
The bottom line is that the Grizzlies have a formula that has been proven to make them a very tough out in the playoffs. They rebound, they defend, and they have guys who can score in crunch time. The only thing they can really improve on is their 3-point shooting, but they are fine-tuning the roster to address that need by trading for Courtney Lee and drafting Jordan Adams. There’s no reason to think that the Grizzlies won’t be back in the playoffs next season and once again threaten to come out of the West. So long as they can successfully position themselves for another deep playoff run, what else should we really expect them to do?