'Dream' Grizzlies offseason target could prove to be a serious misfit

Memphis Grizzlies v Boston Celtics
Memphis Grizzlies v Boston Celtics / Paul Rutherford/GettyImages

This summer, one of the main objectives for this Memphis Grizzlies team will likely be to try and bolster their incredibly depleted center depth as they look to make their way back into the conversation of Western Conference elites.

Since the conclusion of Memphis' campaign, fans and media pundits alike have discussed their personal ideas of how the front office could wind up trying to fill out the five spot this summer, with concepts ranging from adding via the draft to striking on a blockbuster trade for star-caliber players.

Of course, free agency is always a popular time period where teams look to make savvy additions to their talent pool, and, ahead of this year's class, Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report is tabbing former Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas as the club's "dream" target.

Jonas Valanciunas tabbed as 'dream' offseason target for Grizzlies

Citing the team's need for not only a new center but a big-bodied one who can provide rebounding and sound rim protection, Bailey seems to view the 32-year-old as an ideal option to check off these boxes, while his familiarity with coach Jenkins' scheme and running alongside Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr. only seems to make his belief on the matter grow stronger.

Of course, despite possessing all of these kinds of traits and then some, there's plenty of reason to believe that a reunion with Valanciunas may be more sentimental than strategic.

Best known as an offensive-oriented big who can stretch the floor to beyond the three-point line, throughout his 12-year career Valanciunas has established himself as a double-double machine and, over his last five seasons, he's found himself posting impressive averages of 15.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and just shy of a block on 56.4 percent shooting from the field and 34.6 percent shooting from deep.

On paper, such a talent could be argued to be a great addition to this Grizzlies team, as they could certainly use more floor spacing down in the frontcourt to run the always coveted five-out scheme, while his skill set could be seen as a way to take some of the load off of the likes of Morant, Bane, and Jackson.

However, as has been proven both from the eye test and, frankly, their successes over the years, Memphis seems to be at their best when having a lower-usage big manning the middle who's focus is on doing the less glamorous things like pulling down second-chance opportunities, setting hard screens, and playing sound defense.

In other words, the things that fall by the wayside when talking about Valanciunas.

Though his previously mentioned numbers over the last five campaigns are undoubtedly strong, they have come on an average usage rate of 22.5 percent throughout.

Paired up alongside this core trio out in Grind City (all of whom average a usage percentage of 23 or higher), it's a fair assumption to say that this level of productivity that makes him highly intriguing would be bound to regress, for all of them would be far and away ahead of him in the pecking order.

As Locked on Grizzlies host Damichael Cole bluntly explained regarding the concept of reuniting with the veteran: "He's a back-to-the-basket, low post, back you down, get to his spot, you either foul him or he converts [type of player]. The Grizzlies don't need that because they already have to figure out how they're going to share the basketball between Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, [and] Jaren Jackson Jr."

Make no mistake about it, Jonas Valanciunas is a solid ball player who, in the right setting, could seriously help boost a team's center production. Unfortunately for him and those longing for a reunion, the Grizzlies do not appear to be said setting.