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Two or three times a month, I take my kids to the local yogurt shop. It’s crazy the flavors they have these days: black forest cake, caramel macadamia, cinnamon coconut, guava grapefruit sorbet, etc. Man, when I was a kid, there was no fancy shmancy yogurt. We had ice cream. Flavors? Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. The classics. Now, any store you go into, there will always be vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors placed among the almond midnight mochas, cookies & creams, and alphonso mango tarts. Why? Although not sexy and often overlooked, they get the job done and still taste damn good. That’s how I feel about the Memphis Grizzlies. They play a boring, methodical style of basketball and don’t have star power, although Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are really good players. With that said, all they’ve done is make the playoffs for seven consecutive years.

2016 record: 43-39

Key acquisitions:

Key losses:

Outlook:

A drop off should be expected for the Grizzlies this season. The question is, “how much?” Known for being a “grind it out” defensive team (3rd in points per game), the team let go of Tony Allen, their best defensive player. They did add some more offense, but were the moves enough to improve upon their 29th ranking in points scored? When you look at the depth chart below, I think the answer will become apparent. The West is stacked and the improvements that many of the other teams made in the offseason will probably be too much. There are plenty of holes on this roster with questionable depth. What happens if they are out of contention? A trade? Start playing the youngsters? All within the range of outcomes.

PGMike Conley aka Mr. Vanilla aka Money Mike. While he did sign a five-year, $153 million contract last season, Conley still seems to be underappreciated. He’s like a silent assassin. Or he’s more like a ninja. I did read a funny joke about ninjas. I apologize that I don’t remember who wrote it, so I can’t give proper credit. Anyways, the person said, “weren’t ninjas actually terrible at their jobs because they are famous?” Anyways, Conley averaged 20 points for the first time in his career last season and the usage rate increased from 22% to 26%. It’s certainly possible that both of those numbers tick up again. He shot 40% from three-land, 86% from the charity stripe, dished out six dimes, and pilfered 1.3 a game. Money. Mario Chalmers tore his Achilles last year, but looks really good so far in the preseason. He looks to be the front runner for the backup point guard duties. He probably won’t get many minutes, but he does shoot well from three-land (35% career), will dish out some dimes, and has a career average of 1.5 steals. Andrew Harrison and Wade Baldwin should not get run, but Chalmers is coming off an Achilles tear so….

SGTyreke Evans and Wayne Seldon will battle it out for the starting spot. To complicate matters, Ben McLemore could join the fray a few months into the season after recovering from a foot injury. It’s an interesting shift in philosophy, as the shooting guard position has been a defensive one for many years. Now, the Grizzlies are trying to go with more offense. I guess it makes some sense, as the position is called “shooting guard.” I used to love Evans’ game early in this career. He could get to the paint at will and just bully defenders. He couldn’t shoot, though. Now, he’s like the old guy at the Y. Can’t drive but can shoot. He’s now a mid-30s percent shooter from three-land. He’ll grab some boards and dish out some dimes, but nothing eye opening. Seldon is young, but not really good. I’d give Evans the edge over Seldon. McLemore is the best shooter out of the group (38% from three-land last season), but he won’t contribute in anything else and will be coming off an injury.

SFChandler Parsons used to be a top-50 player, but injuries have derailed his career. He looked like literal dog shit last season. With that said, there is some upside here as a late-round pick. I’m usually hesitant of guys coming off injuries or those with extensive injury histories, but everyone has a price. James Ennis should be the backup. He shot 37% from three-land and grabbed four rebounds last season, but doesn’t do anything else. Dillon Brooks, the Grizzlies second-round pick, and Rade Zagorac, last year’s second-round pick, fill out the position.

PFJaMychal Green is the starter. Per 36 last season, 11.8 points, 9.3 boards, 38% from three-land, and 80% from the charity stripe. He should soak up most of the minutes, so there’s inherent value in that even though he’s not that good. Ivan Rabb, the Grizzlies’ first round pick, is the backup. He’s been dealing with an ankle injury so he hasn’t been able to get any run. With that said, even if healthy, he probably won’t see significant minutes unless the Grizzlies are out of it and let their youngsters play at the end of the season.

CMarc Gasol was in trade rumors all summer. If the Grizzlies struggle out of the gate, do they move him? Can’t totally dismiss that notion. I still remember when the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol back in 2008. Marc was basically a throw-in for the package that included Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, and Aaron McKie. Anyways, Gasol is 32 years old but can still ball. For a big man, he shot an impressive 39% from three-land last season. He also shot 83% from the charity stripe. Six boards with over four dimes and around one steal and one block per game are so juicy. With the Grizzlies bereft of talent, both the usage rates for Conley and Gasol could tick up. Backing up Gasol will be Brandan Wright. A tall, lanky, athletic big man that will shoot a high percentage from the field, grab boards, and accumulate defensive stats. No threes or assists and bad free-throw shooting.

  1. howtathor says:
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    Was looking for Deyonta Davis who I own in a dynasty league. Any chance for minutes behind Green/Gasol?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      It’s possible, especially if they go young. I do think he’s at least a year away though

  2. jay says:
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    9 cat h2h 14 team

    who would you rather own?

    fox, monk or lance?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      I take it for redraft and you’re referring to Lance Stevenson. If so, I’d go Lance

      • Jy says:
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        @Son:

        Thanks! One more for ya bud.

        Same 9cat H2H league,
        Lance or Ish?

        • Son

          Son says:
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          I think I side with Ish there, as there’s more upside there

  3. Dante Green says:
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    Your thoughts on Jaylen Brown and Thon Maker? Holmes’ situation with the sixers worries me. I know it’s just the preseason but I don’t still like the idea of Amir and Okafor taking away minutes from Richaun. Meanwhile, Atkinson mentioned an 11-man rotation, and I havr Crabbe. Hah I’m thinking of replacing Crabbe and Holmes for Brown and Maker.

    • Dante Green says:
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      @Dante Green:

      Or how about Ulis? Heard the Suns are playing him alongside Bledsoe! Drop eithet Crabbe or Holmes for him? I’m in an 18-team league

      • Son

        Son says:
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        @Dante Green: Tough to say without context. Really depends on what you need. If you need assists, sure. Crabbe is going to be awesome in threes. You know what Richaun brings to the table. I do think Crabbe would be more easily replaceable.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Dante Green: I like Brown a lot. He’s going to get minutes and that’s half the battle. He should get plenty of open looks and get his pilfer on. I do like Maker as well, but there’s more risk in regards to playing time for him. I’m not worried about Richaun. For me, he’s the clear backup to Embiid. I saw that about the 11-man rotation. Sucks for fantasy, but I guess it makes sense because he didn’t give any player over 30 mpg last season. I’d rather have Crabbe/Holmes, but that’s in a vacuum without league/team context.

      • Dante Green says:
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        @Son:

        Won’t be needing to drop somebody now coz I just placed Seth on the IR slot. What a bummer. I might go for Jaylen or Josh Richardson, thanks buddy

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @Dante Green: That does suck. I kind of like Curry his year. Both Brown and JRich are good options, but I may prefer Brown

          • Dante Green says:
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            @Son:

            Yup, I like him too. I just hope I can snag him with my $1 bid. We’re doing FAAB for the 2nd straight year. Hah

  4. Craig Bozic

    Craig says:
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    Love what Wayne Selden will bring to this team, iv never seen him look so comfortable and confident. Summer league was no fluke.

    How do you view his outlook Son?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Craig: He is athletic, but will he be able to shoot? He did look really good in the Summer League and showed a nice stroke, but he also balled out in previous Summer Leagues as well. He shot 14% from three-land last season in 11 games with Memphis. He’s also a pretty bad free throw shooter. With all that said, he’s still very young so I think there’s a chance he can develop into something. There’s definitely potential. As for Summer League being no fluke? You may be right, but I need to see it first

  5. Justin says:
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    9 cat h2h, how would you rank these 3: jamal murray, josh richardson, jeremy lamb.

    • Justin says:
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      @Justin: add kuzma to that list too.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Justin: Murray, JRich, Lamb, and Kuzma. With the possibility of JRich moving to the top

  6. Ky says:
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    Seth curry was dropped in our 20 team league. Worthy of a waiver claim (3)? I’m afraid I might regret it if someone else claimed him and be ready to play by the reg season. Just wanna know if he’s worth it. Thanks man

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Ky: He’s out indefinitely. I doubt he plays.

  7. You're a Dedmon! says:
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    Yo, Son the man! What do you think? Good or nah? Hehe

    1. (4) Karl-Anthony Towns C
    2. (25) Kyle Lowry PG
    3. (32) Paul Millsap PF,C
    4. (53) D’Angelo Russell PG,SG
    5. (60) Robert Covington SF,PF
    6. (81) Gary Harris SG,SF
    7. (88) Danilo Gallinari SF,PF
    8. (109) Darren Collison PG,SG
    9. (116) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope SG
    10. (137) Dewayne Dedmon C
    11. (144) Nikola Mirotic SF,PF
    12. (165) JaMychal Green PF

    Some nice players in the waiver wire:
    Barton
    Aminu
    Crabbe
    Winslow
    N. Powell
    Ilyasova
    Harkless
    RHJ

    • Son

      Son says:
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      What up?! Is good. I do like RHJ and Powell on the wire. I’m not a big fan of Mirotic and Green but I get it.

      • You're a Dedmon! says:
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        @Son:

        Thanks, Son!

        Do you think RHJ will finally have a breakout this season? And Powell, too with Miles on their roster?

        • Son

          Son says:
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          Possibly. Like the talent and situation.

          • You're a Dedmon! says:
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            @Son: Thanks, Sir Son!

            • Son

              Son says:
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              Ha! Anytime

              • You're a Dedmon! says:
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                @Son: Sir Son, who’d you pick? Cody or Swanigan? 😀

                • Son

                  Son says:
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                  Biggie

                  • You're a Dedmon! says:
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                    @Son: Sir Son, another one. hehe I need a PF, C. I’m planning on trading KCP for Taj? Good or nah? Thanks.

                    • Son

                      Son says:
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                      I’m good with that

  8. TheBeardedOne says:
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    16teams 9cat

    14 Nikola Jokic, Den PF
    19 Jimmy Butler, Min SG
    46 Ricky Rubio, Utah PG
    51 Nikola Vucevic, Orl C
    78 Aaron Gordon, Orl PF
    83 Jeremy Lin, Bkn PG
    110 Darren Collison, Ind PG
    115 Markieff Morris*, Wsh PF
    142 Josh Richardson, Mia SG
    147 Taurean Prince, Atl SF
    174 Richaun Holmes*, Phi PF
    179 Jeremy Lamb, Cha SG
    206 Denzel Valentine, Chi SG
    211 Boban Marjanovic, Det C

    Sad that I lost Holmes Right After the Draft. But Im planning to punt Blocks with this team

    I got one spot. Here are some notable fa (I think)

    Maker
    Jordan Crawford
    Oubre
    Jarrett Allen
    Sean Kilpatrick (what happen to this guy)

    Thanks

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Thon or Oubre

  9. Dorian says:
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    Lots of talk about Parsons playing small ball 4. I think that could boost his value. What say you?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Dorian: For sure. All about health with him.

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