How much money will the Memphis Grizzlies have to spend on free agents?

How much can the Memphis Grizzlies spend in free agency this offseason?

The Memphis Grizzlies are in line to have a decent amount of money to spend during free agency, which is slated to begin June 30 at 5 p.m. CT, according to CBS Sports.

A lot of fans are wondering how much money the Grizzlies will have to spend this offseason— can we sign someone like Zach LaVine, Deandre Ayton, or Mile Bridges?

This is a very interesting question and one that’s hard to nail down exactly without going into to many different scenarios.

However, we can go through one likely scenario and it looks like this:

  • Guarantee John Konchar’s contract next season ($2.3 million)
  • Sign rookie Jake LaRavia ($3 million)
  • Sign rookie David Roddy ($2.55 million)
  • Sign rookie Kennedy Chandler (I’ll estimate it at $1.5 million based on last year’s No. 38 overall pick, Ayo Dosunmu’s $1.56 million contract)
  • Sign rookie Vince Williams to a two-way deal (which doesn’t count against the cap or luxury tax). He would join Kenneth Lofton Jr. as the team’s two players that can float between Southaven and Memphis.
  • Release Tyrell Terry, who has been on a two-way deal
  • Do not re-sign Tyus Jones, Kyle Anderson, Jarrett Culver or Yves Pons

In theory, you’ll be looking at $15.4 million in cap space, plus a $5.32 million mid-level exception. So, $20.7 million is probably the high-end figure you could realistically look at in terms of cap space for next season.

At that figure, it would be really tough to just outright sign the most enviable names at the top of the free agency board. You would almost certainly need to facilitate a sign-and-trade to get Ayton or Bridges on the Grizzlies (both are restricted free agents), just for them to get their fair market value and/or avoid their incumbent team from matching the offer sheet.

But, you could conceivably make a run at the next tier of free agents— guys like Bobby Portis, Kevon Looney, Anfernee Simons, Jusuf Nurkic, Collin Sexton or Mo Bamba or Malik Monk.

The Memphis Grizzlies would likely have varying degrees of success even landing a meeting with many of the players in this tier.

One, because they’re restricted free agents, their incumbent teams will almost certainly match any reasonable offer they get from a rival team. And, two, they all probably covet a role as a starter (something that may not be possible without some trades taking place).

The Grizzlies need to be careful about overpaying for bench players, especially with a max-contract (and possibly a super-max extension) for Ja Morant that will hit the books beginning in the 2023-24 season and Desmond Bane’s near-max extension the year after that.

It’s down the road quite a bit, but it’s not inconceivable that the Grizzlies could have three players (Morant, Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr.) account for half or two-thirds of the team’s salary cap in 2024-25.

So, the Grizzlies may need to go into the third-tier of talent and find someone who’s relatively inexpensive, but serviceable, and go to sleep at night knowing they have some cap space going into the season.

You never know when a superstar talent will demand a trade or when a team decides to tank. In those cases, having a bit of wiggle room to absorb exorbitant contract(s) might become more valuable than overpaying for a backup guard or big man this offseason.