Amid a three-game losing streak to kick off the 2023-24 campaign, the Memphis Grizzlies are searching for a way to try and stop the bleeding before things get too out of hand.
Without Ja Morant (suspension) and Steven Adams (season-ending surgery) in the fold, it was always expected that Taylor Jenkins’ club would struggle as they learn to navigate through these infancy stages of the new season with their semi-depleted roster.
That said, the depths to which their production has sunk has proven to be a bit concerning, as they rank a lowly 26 in offensive rating, 23 in net rating, and a mediocre 15 and 14 in opponent points allowed and rebounding percentage, respectively.
While there’s no proper overarching solution for these aforementioned problems, it appears GM Zach Kleiman and company are attempting to address some of them with their recent moves on the free agency market, as The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Saturday evening that the Grizzlies “are planning to sign” veteran center Bismack Biyombo.
The Memphis Grizzlies ‘are planning’ to sign veteran center Bismack Biyombo
As was seen last season and during these early stages of this season, while the absence of Morant is certainly the one that has drawn the most attention, easily as impactful is the loss of Adams in the rotation, as his particular defensive and rebound-oriented set of skills has proven to be vital to overall team success.
Biyombo may not be the overall talent that Steve-O is, but he is someone who, at the very least, can amplify the particular areas of Memphis’ scheme that have taken a hard hit without their primary pivot in tow.
A career nitty-gritty contributor, since 2021-22 Biyombo served in a reserve role for the title-hungry Phoenix Suns where he posted sound averages of 4.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks on 58.4 percent shooting from the field in just 14.2 minutes a night.
While these counting stats are by no means earth-shattering, it’s his impact in the advanced metrics that should make fans excited for his planned addition to the Grizzlies rotation, as the 12-year vet has boasted impressive offensive and defensive ratings of 113 and 107, respectively, the past two seasons and, last year, registered a career-best defensive box plus-minus of +2.5.
Though a popular possible course of action to try and fill the void left behind with Adams’ season-ending knee surgery has been for the front office to scour the trade market, with Portland Trail Blazers center Robert Williams III being tabbed as the fan-favorite target, the signing of Biyombo seemingly squashes any hope of an imminent deal being executed.
Considering his particular on-court attributes along with his ample years of experience both as a starter and a backup, assuming he’ll be agreeing to terms on a deal in the range of the veteran minimum, Kleiman’s decision to scoop him up in free agency could very well prove to be an impactful and cost-efficient move.