The Memphis Grizzlies have quite a few players who will be approaching the end of their contracts. As a result, it’s time to start considering whether or not they will be extending certain players.
The most notable player is Jaren Jackson Jr., the Grizzlies’ 4th-overall pick from 2018. Jackson was always looked at as a long-term project with an extremely high ceiling, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he hasn’t quite reached his potential. Even so, he should be an extremely highly-paid player, making his contract extension one of the toughest decisions.
But today, we’ll be focusing on a lower-profile player who may not need a contract extension at all in Grayson Allen.
Grayson Allen was big for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2020-21 but do they need to extend his contract?
First, we should go over what Grayson Allen has done for the Memphis Grizzlies. Allen came to Memphis in his second NBA season, having averaged just 5.6 points per game with the Utah Jazz as a rookie. He immediately bumped that number up to 8.7 points per game on increased efficiency with the Grizz.
Allen went from a 32.3% 3-point shooter to a 40.4% 3-point shooter and looks like he’ll continue to hover around that 40% for a while. He shot above 39% again last season, but his shooting splits took a hit with an increased role.
The emergence of Desmond Bane and De’Anthony Melton from long-range will complicate Allen’s role on the team, as GA is the oldest among the group and the least effective 3-point shooter on paper. Even though Memphis struggled to shoot the ball last season, they don’t really need a pure shooting guard right now.
This may lead the Grizzlies to not extend Allen and draft a 3-and-D player like Chris Duarte, who could immediately fill that role. The positive here is that a player like Duarte could bring more size to the team and play more effective defense.
The option of not extending Allen is an extremely tantalizing one, as Allen would become a restricted free agent, giving the Grizzlies the chance to match any offer that is sent his way. This narrows the risk associated with keeping Allen on the roster while leaving the Grizzlies’ options open for a longer period of time.
If they were to extend his contract, they would receive immediate assurance but could run into some financial problems down the road with big paydays coming up in Ja Morant and JJJ.
At 25 years old, Allen will likely be looking for a relatively long-term deal, so the Grizzlies may have to pay out a decent amount to a player who will fill the same role as De’Anthony Melton, a shooting guard already on the payroll for a few more seasons.
In my opinion, Memphis is best suited to letting Allen explore his options in free agency. The Grizzlies don’t need Allen and that would give them the option to potentially re-sign him for a low price.