Grizzlies: Why accepting Justise Winslow’s team option is the right move
Memphis Grizzlies fans were not left with a pleasant taste in their mouth after the first year of Justise Winslow‘s tenure on Beale Street.
The 25-year old point forward didn’t even join the team’s rotation until mid-way through the season. When he did join it, he couldn’t get going on offense. In fact, saying that he couldn’t get going on offense may be an understatement.
Winslow was terrible offensively.
The former highly-touted Duke Basketball player had nothing going for him last year. He shot the ball at a clip of just over 35%, knocking down under 20% of his long-distance shots. He couldn’t run the offense — any hope of him being the team’s point forward went down the drain with his shooting percentages.
In short, he handicapped the Grizzlies’ offense. His defense was solid, but not strong enough to make up for his offensive shortcomings. Even so, I think the Memphis Grizzlies should hold onto him.
The Memphis Grizzlies should give Justise Winslow one more shot in 2021-22
There’s no way to form a truly logical argument for why the Memphis Grizzlies should accept Justise Winslow’s $13 million team option. The man scored 6.8 points per game last season with terrible shooting splits. He wasn’t even in the team’s rotation at the end of the year.
His Player Efficiency Rating, as flawed as the measurable can be, was among the worst in the league out of nearly 400 active players. But one question remains.
What else are the Grizzlies going to do with their money?
Memphis isn’t in a position to sign a big-name free agent. They’re not even close. While Memphis will have a considerable amount of money this offseason, they’ll only be able to spend it on a single-year contract, as players like Jaren Jackson Jr., Jonas Valanciunas, and Ja Morant have pay days on the horizon.
Let’s say for a second that the Grizzlies decline Winslow’s team option. Who is going to be willing to sign a one-year deal with the Grizz and what is Memphis going to get out of that?
If you accept Winslow’s $13 million option, you’ve got a 25-year old player who will be motivated to play for a single season. He may end up falling out of the rotation again, but it won’t hurt the team in any way, at least financially speaking.
Winslow never got a true opportunity to settle in last season, as he was injured for the entirety of the offseason and was still recovering upon his return. He had a brutal time on the court, but I still believe that there’s some juice left in his tank.
Acception Winslow’s team option may not be the popular move, but it’s the right move. Even if it means they’re going to turn around and trade him away, how could it hurt?