Memphis Grizzlies: Centers to target in free agency

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 21: Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks up to shoot on Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the third quarter at Staples Center on February 21, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

With two of their best players capable of playing the center position, will the Memphis Grizzlies bother addressing the five spot in free agency?

Once NBA free agency opens on Nov. 20, the Memphis Grizzlies will have multiple options and positions to look at if they want to upgrade their roster.

The Grizzlies are in good shape at the center position, with Jonas Valanciunas and Jaren Jackson Jr., both key pieces of the franchise’s young core.

Last season, Valanciunas averaged 15 points per game to go along with 11.3 rebounds. He brings a physical type of play to the offensive end. He gets most of his shots from within the paint and the short mid-range.

Jackson, in his second year as a pro, showed that he will be a face of the franchise to go alongside Ja Morant. Jackson is a “unicorn” type of player. He stands 6’11” and has guard-like skills in some facets of the game. He averaged 17.4 points per game last season. He also stretches the floor for the Grizzlies, as he shot 39 percent from the 3-point line. Jackson can also play the power forward position as he is a versatile defender for someone with his size and speed. Overall, Jackson will be an important component for the Grizzlies frontcourt for a long time.

Gorgui Dieng is a solid backup center for the Grizzlies that played around 19 minutes per game last season. In his role, he averaged 7.2 points per game to go along with 5.6 rebounds. On the offensive end of the court Dieng gets most of his shots from inside the paint but can also take a step out and knock down the short mid-range. The concerning issue with Dieng is his salary; he is the highest-paid player on the Grizzlies and his deal expires in 2021, so it’s very possible the team looks to trade him before or during the upcoming season.

If the Grizzlies look to improve at the center position in free agency, they’ll probably target some cheap veterans that could add depth to the roster.

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