Predicting where each Memphis Grizzlies’ free agent will play in 2023-24

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 29 (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 29 (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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Memphis Grizzlies: Xavier Tillman Sr.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – APRIL 19 (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Xavier Tillman Sr. – Memphis Grizzlies

A second-round pick of the Grizzlies in 2020, Xavier Tillman Sr. has been a solid piece for Memphis over the past three years. His role was inconsistent throughout his first two seasons in the league, but Tillman saw an increased role in year three and certainly took advantage of the opportunity.

In 2022-23, Tillman averaged a solid seven points while shooting 61.4 percent from the field, five rebounds, 1.6 assists, and one steal in 19.3 minutes per game, all of which were new career highs. With Steven Adams injured, Tillman saw an increased role later in the year, especially in the NBA Playoffs, where he started all six games for Memphis. Even if his role regresses next season with Adams back, Tillman showed that he is more than capable of being a serviceable backup big man.

Financially, Tillman and the Grizzlies find themselves in an interesting situation, as the center has a club option worth $1.9 million for next season. Memphis would be foolish to decline that, as the market for a new backup center would cost them far more. Keeping Tillman in town for less than $2 million next season after his breakout year should be an absolute no-brainer for the Grizzlies, so it’s not too far-fetched to think he’ll be back next season.