Currently serving as the only winless team through nearly two weeks of action in 2023-24, it’s quite evident that the Memphis Grizzlies have numerous problems within their scheme that are in serious need of answers.
Easily one of their most glaring conundrums to this point is their lackluster depth and production at the center position, as they had to scramble for a replacement option just days before October 25’s tip-off following the announcement that starting five Steven Adams would undergo season-ending knee surgery.
Though fourth-year big Xavier Tillman has produced relatively well as the club’s primary pivot, it is a widely accepted belief that should Memphis wish to remain a legitimate title contender they might want to consider finding another talent to man the middle.
Thursday, it appears plans have officially been set in motion for the Grizzlies to address this particular rotational quagmire, as The Athletic’s Shams Charania broke the news that the team has signed veteran big Bismack Biyombo in free agency.
Memphis Grizzlies officially sign veteran center Bismack Biyombo
While the NBA Insider had initially reported back on October 28 that the Grizzlies were “planning” on adding the 12-year veteran, this latest buzz makes things official as the two parties agreed on a one-year, $5 million contract with sources informing Charania that $1 million will be guaranteed.
Though perhaps not the sexiest of names that fans were hoping to see Memphis add, Biyombo is a proven defensive commodity with extensive run serving as both a starter and backup in the association.
Over the last two seasons, the veteran served as a rotational player for the title-hungry Phoenix Suns, where he saw 14.2 minutes of action a night and boasted offensive and defensive ratings of 113 and 107, respectively, while registering a career-best defensive box plus-minus of +2.5 just last season.
Biyombo heads to Grind City with career averages of 5.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting a highly efficient 57.8 percent from the floor.
Now, should the 31-year-old be viewed as the savior of the center position for the Grizzlies? Absolutely not.
That said, his experience in the league could be an extra plus both in the locker room and on the hardwood for this struggling squad while his 6-foot-8 frame with a wild 7-foot-6 wingspan will add some much-needed size down near the rim.