Ex-Grizzlies center tabbed as 'dream' offseason target for franchise

Memphis Grizzlies v Philadelphia 76ers
Memphis Grizzlies v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Memphis Grizzlies may be winding down on a lowly 2023-24 campaign, but excitment and enthusiasm are still high among the franchise's faithful followers due to their future prospects.

When fully healthy, this ball club is a top-five seed in the Western Conference standings and is seen as a legitimate title threat.

Come next season, with the likes of Ja Morant back in the mix, it's expected that Taylor Jenkins' squad will once again be in the running for a deep postseason excursion, though what they opt to do with their supporting cast this summer will help decide on whether they should be perceived as a mere pretender or a true contender.

While there are many different routes this Grizzlies front office could take in an attempt to bolster their talent pool and fill in rotational gaps, Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report seems to believe there's one player who should be atop Zach Kleiman and company's free agency wishlist, as he recently went as far as to label New Orleans Pelicans big Jonas Valanciunas as the club's "dream" target.

Jonas Valanciunas tabbed as 'dream' offseason target for Grizzlies

Citing Memphis' need for added size and rebounding help within their frontcourt, Bailey suggests that a reunion with the franchise's former starting pivot could be an ideal outcome for them.

"Another former Grizzly, Valančiūnas could also cover for JJJ's lack of rebounding while also being more likely to keep the middle of the floor open for Morant's drives.

JV still does the bulk of his damage inside, but he's at least shown hints of floor-spacing 5 ability."

Andy Bailey

On top of the fact that he's pulling down 9.3 boards per game including 2.5 on the offensive glass, Valanciunas is also stroking it from distance at a 35.0 percent clip on 1.5 attempts per game.

These two attributes being added to coach Jenkins' lineup would only benefit the more finesse and less bruising Jaren Jackson Jr. in the frontcourt and, frankly, the club's offensive approach as a whole, as it would allow them to run a more ideal five-out set.

Valanciunas spent nearly three seasons as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies from 2019 through 2021 and posted impressive per game averages of 16.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.1 blocks while shooting 58.1 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from deep.

The idea of a reunion between these two parties is certainly not a new one, and Bailey has been someone who has pounded this proverbial drum in the past.

Over the next few months, expect to see this idea to continue to surface.