Strength in Versatility
Prior to the Memphis Grizzlies’ 2018-19 season, Head Coach J.B. Bickerstaff described the roster assembled after a busy offseason. The new-look roster had many interchangeable parts in correlation with a deep bench rotation. In Bickerstaff’s own words, on paper, this team would have “strength in versatility.”
In the age of positionless basketball, the Grizzlies are the last team to really participate in the new-age game of stretching the floor at all positions regardless of available bodies along with the chucking style of offense from long-range. After all, Memphis currently ranks 26th in the NBA with 27.6 three-point shot attempts per game. “Grit-‘N’-Grind” has remained their identity and they have refused to adapt to the rest of the league.
The Memphis Grizzlies are finally accepting that it is time to rebuild the ship. They are reinventing the wheel, beginning with Jaren Jackson Jr. at the helm and Mike Conley as a mentor until his days in a Grizzlies uniform officially come to a close. Now is the time to decide who is going to be a part of the team’s future, and even more important is determining the team’s identity moving forward. That plays into personnel.
Assuming J.B. Bickerstaff sticks with the versatility aspect, Romeo Langford is an excellent backcourt option. He is very interchangeable at the guard positions. He has the height and length to play spot minutes at small forward, and with additional muscle, he could play an even larger role at the three.
As Langford’s ability to play off-ball was previously discussed, it is a direct correlation to his ability to play multiple positions. Even at the age of 19, he is very smooth and comfortable on the court. His length allows him to cause problems defensively, which makes up for any lack of speed versus small point guards. That said length also plays into his strength of attacking the basket and scoring over the opposition.
If Dillon Brooks is not the solidified shooting guard of the future in Memphis, an NBA Draft selection of Romeo Langford makes even more sense. By the time the Grizzlies would show their face on the Draft Board, it is very likely Romeo would be the best player available, too. The pick would make a lot of sense from either perspective.