3 under-the-radar free agents Grizzlies must pursue this summer

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies
San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages
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2. Goga Bitadze

Though pursuing an old-school power forward could be a fine second option to try and address their frontcourt needs, ultimately it seems GM Zach Kleiman is interested in picking up a more traditional center this summer, as he went as far as to note during his exit interview that he sees the value in having a "true big" within a rotation.

To beat reporter Damichael Cole, a way to acquire such a commodity could be by pursuing the likes of Magic big Goga Bitadze, a player who, though he has shown flashes, is currently on the outside looking in on the club's postseason run.

"The thing is, if you watched him when he started this season he was a productive player. He was a part of some of their long winning streaks. I think he played three games of more than 30 minutes this season. In those three games he averages 8.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and he rated as one of the better defenders at the center position, not just in those three games but, I think, in a 26 game sample size when he played more than 20 minutes."

Damichael Cole

Since entering the league 18 overall back in 2019, Bitadze has struggled to come across significant minutes due, in large, to the collection of big men talent that has been stationed around him.

From his early days playing for the Indiana Pacers and being trapped behind Myles Turner and All-Star Domantas Sabonis to, now, being on a Magic team with guys like Paolo Banchero, Wendell Carter Jr., and Jonathan Issac all ahead of him in the frontcourt pecking order, the 24-year-old has yet to see any semblance of a clear path to consistent playing time.

As noted by Cole, during the times he was utilized in a larger role this season, Bitadze played admirably, posting 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.7 blocks while shooting 58.9 percent from the field in 33 starts.

Though he has a club option for 2024-25, considering his lack of usage this postseason, there's a rather realistic possibility that the Magic front office declines his final year under contract, sending him to the free agency market.

Should this happen, the Grizzlies should be monitoring the 6-10, 245-pound behemoth closely.