Grizzlies urged to reunite with former big man this summer

Feb 8, 2024; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins gives direction
Feb 8, 2024; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins gives direction / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies may currently find themselves heading toward a high-end lottery pick in 2023-24 but, when fully healthy, this team is considered to be a legitimate threat to take home the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Presuming the likes of Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane will all be a full go come next season, they're destined to once again be viewed in such a light.

Of course, in order for them to better their odds of winning a championship, it's rather evident that a few significant rotational shakeups need to be made, with perhaps their biggest agenda being to find a new starting center following the mid-season departure of Steven Adams.

While there are many options this front office could consider pursuing, with Morant himself even dropping hints of who he may wish to see Memphis target as a successor to Adams, in a recent piece published by Bleacher Report, writer Andy Bailey presented the idea of a reunion between the club and their former franchise pivot, Jonas Valančiūnas.

Grizzlies urged to reunite with Jonas Valančiūnas this summer

"The Memphis Grizzlies traded the injured Steven Adams earlier this season, but if there's one thing we've learned from their injury-plagued season, it's that Jaren Jackson Jr. needs a bruising, space-taking center alongside him to do all the less glamorous things required of big men.

Valančiūnas is still a double-double machine and former Grizzly who turns 32 in May. He might be willing to play for the taxpayer's mid-level exception at this point in his career."

Andy Bailey

As many may remember from his near three-year stint with the Grizzlies, like Adams, Valančiūnas is a savvy board gobbler and sound interior presence on defense who, unlike Adams, possesses a sound shooting stroke that allows him to serve as a scoring threat anywhere from the paint to beyond the arc.

Now in his 12 season in the league, the 32-year-old is posting impressive per-game averages of 13.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.0 blocks while shooting 57.3 percent from the floor and 34.1 percent from distance.

Though perhaps not the sexiest of names this Memphis team has been linked to over the past few months, considering the firepower they already have at their disposal when healthy they may not need any other big-name commodities to come into the 38103.

Instead, they might just need a rock-solid presence down at the five to do the little things and make the right plays. In Bailey's eyes, reuniting with Valančiūnas in free agency may be the ideal option to add on such a commodity.