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Ole Dirty Klondike

How Can This Team Get Better and Who is Good Enough to Trade For?

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So, after those long discussions in another thread about a player who I won’t name. It made me wonder and think of 2 questions:

  1. How will this team get better?
  2. Who is good enough for this team’s fans?

How Will This Team Get Better

Looking at this squad, imo, we have 1 potential star in Ja Morant, 2 high level role players in JJJ and DB and then just a bunch of guys. I mean, some are decent roles players, not high level, but decent role players like Melton, Anderson, Bane, Clarke, Adams,  etc but at the end of the day, they are just a bunch of guys. This team has overachieved the last 2 seasons and ended up in the play-in game. What is the ceiling for this team as currently constructed? Do we really think this team can make the playoffs on a regular basis and get far in the playoffs on a regular basis? I don’t think so. Now, they may shock the world and win the title next year with KA averaging 30 ppg. I don’t know, stranger things have happened (well, not really). How are we going to get better, not just this year but going forward? I’m not saying we need to get to the WC Finals this year but how can we even be a real threat to make the playoffs consistently and get to the 2nd round? How do we get a guy that is at the very least the 2nd best player on this team behind Ja but above JJJ and DB or preferably better than Ja? Obviously, there are 3 ways to get players-FA signing, draft, trade. Let’s examine those options and how realistic they are:

  • FA Signing- Correct me if I’m wrong but is Chandler Parsons the only FA that signed for more than the MLE with Memphis? This doesn’t seem to be a very viable option. Many teams struggle to sign FAs and the top ones more than likely already know where they are going (or maybe have a top 2). It’s really hard to pry a restricted FA away so this just doesn’t seem like a very viable option unless we somehow find ourselves in a situation with loads of cash, no other team with money and 2 or 3 high level FA available which doesn’t seem likely. Memphis is not an attractive option for free agents. Who’s our best FA signing ever? Tony Allen I guess? Just doesn’t seem realistic
  • ·Draft- This is a viable option if we can get a top 3 (or maybe top 5) draft pick and wait a couple of years. Problem is, I doubt if we will get a top 5 pick anytime soon. I guess we could make a draft day trade and give up future picks but we would still be a couple years away. It’s almost like we would get in a cycle of being a couple of years from being a couple of years away. This could happen but we would need to be patient for another 2-3 years. We’ve gotten good players this way from Pau (draft day trade), Rudy (draft day trade), Mike, Ja, JJJ, etc but we have to be patient for awhile
  • Trade- This seems the most likely option to acquire talent but if you get talent this way, they more than likely will have serious flaws. I use Z-Bo as an example. He was very talented but had red flags both on and off the court. It worked out. Not many teams are giving up perfect players for trash so you will more than likely give up something significant for a talented player with flaws.

So it appears that a trade for an established player would help us get better quick but who fits the criteria that would make Memphis fans happy?

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Who is good enough for this team’s fans?

 How do we make this team better? If it’s a trade, it appears that most people assess trades on 3 criteria- Fit, Salary, Availability/Getability

  • Fit- I always fine this as a peculiar criterion because what people are really saying is “On this day with the way the team is currently constructed with our current roster of players with the style we play with the coach we have, this player isn’t a fit”. The issue I have with this is, things change. Rosters change, coaches change, nothing is forever. It’s right to consider this but talent trumps this in my mind. Things have a way of working themselves out
  • Salary- Here’s another peculiar criterion to me. Yes, we should consider salary up to a certain point but you can’t overanalyze it and have this as the driving factor behind any decisions. Much like team rosters change, salaries change as well. Ever since that last CBA, salaries have been escalating.  Salaries will continue to increase and even if you keep drafting people, you will have to pay them at some point when their rookie contracts are over. You won’t be able to avoid paying big contracts if you want to compete in this league. This isn’t 10 years ago. Next year there will be more $30 million dollar players and the year after that, even more. There was a time when $20 million was unheard of, now almost 60 players make at least $20 million (and not all are good)
  • Availability/Getability- This is the most important criterion to me because year to year, there really aren’t that many high level players who are available. And if they are, it’s going to take an arm and a leg to get them. That’s why I laugh at the Beal trade stuff thrown on here. He’s not really available and we don’t have the assets to get him and he’s undersized and doesn’t really play d. If you look at who is truly available and what we can offer, the pool is extremely small

So if you make a Venn diagram of those 3 criteria, I think it gives us players that we can realistically make a trade to obtain. Are there really 5 players or 7 players or 10 players that fit in that overlap region? If so, who are they? How do we get them (I’m not looking for endless trade ideas)? It just seems like so many people on this board think we can easily get some guy who averages over 20 ppg, while shooting over 40% from 3 who plays great d but also makes under $15 million, has no flaws and their team is willing to part with them for peanuts. I don’t get it. You have to give a little to get a little. The closest person I can think of is Malcolm Brogdon (who I have frequently mentioned)  but I don’t think he’s available.

If you don’t think a trade is the right route to get better, what FAs do you think we can sign (above the MLE) and for how much? If you think building through the draft Is the best way to get better, how long is that timeline? Or, are you totally content and think this team will continue to overachieve and doesn’t need to get better? I’m just curious on people’s thoughts. I hear a lot of stuff thrown around on here but how much of it is realistic and who is good enough for this team?

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JJJ might yet be a star.  So might ZW.  Bane has a chance to be at least more than a role player. Clarke looked as if he could, and there's still a flicker of hope. So I think we have to wait a few months and see what we have as our base for the next step. By then we should also have an idea where we rank vs other teams -- playoffs? lottery? stuck in between again? - so we'll see how many years out we need to think.   Meanwhile we have a team that will almost always be competitive and fun to watch. 

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If the team performs well and is exciting, etc....it will become more attractive to FA talent.  Our best squads were some of the most boring teams in the league (hey not my opinion but the style and viewpoint of the majority of the league).  There was no desire to come to MEM to play in that style with those players.  Its not how folks in the L see themselves....people want to win and be exciting.

If you build it...they will come.

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1 hour ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

So, after those long discussions in another thread about a player who I won’t name. It made me wonder and think of 2 questions:

  1. How will this team get better?
  2. Who is good enough for this team’s fans?

How Will This Team Get Better

Looking at this squad, imo, we have 1 potential star in Ja Morant, 2 high level role players in JJJ and DB and then just a bunch of guys. I mean, some are decent roles players, not high level, but decent role players like Melton, Anderson, Bane, Clarke, Adams,  etc but at the end of the day, they are just a bunch of guys. This team has overachieved the last 2 seasons and ended up in the play-in game. What is the ceiling for this team as currently constructed? Do we really think this team can make the playoffs on a regular basis and get far in the playoffs on a regular basis? I don’t think so. Now, they may shock the world and win the title next year with KA averaging 30 ppg. I don’t know, stranger things have happened (well, not really). How are we going to get better, not just this year but going forward? I’m not saying we need to get to the WC Finals this year but how can we even be a real threat to make the playoffs consistently and get to the 2nd round? How do we get a guy that is at the very least the 2nd best player on this team behind Ja but above JJJ and DB or preferably better than Ja? Obviously, there are 3 ways to get players-FA signing, draft, trade. Let’s examine those options and how realistic they are:

  • FA Signing- Correct me if I’m wrong but is Chandler Parsons the only FA that signed for more than the MLE with Memphis? This doesn’t seem to be a very viable option. Many teams struggle to sign FAs and the top ones more than likely already know where they are going (or maybe have a top 2). It’s really hard to pry a restricted FA away so this just doesn’t seem like a very viable option unless we somehow find ourselves in a situation with loads of cash, no other team with money and 2 or 3 high level FA available which doesn’t seem likely. Memphis is not an attractive option for free agents. Who’s our best FA signing ever? Tony Allen I guess? Just doesn’t seem realistic
  • ·Draft- This is a viable option if we can get a top 3 (or maybe top 5) draft pick and wait a couple of years. Problem is, I doubt if we will get a top 5 pick anytime soon. I guess we could make a draft day trade and give up future picks but we would still be a couple years away. It’s almost like we would get in a cycle of being a couple of years from being a couple of years away. This could happen but we would need to be patient for another 2-3 years. We’ve gotten good players this way from Pau (draft day trade), Rudy (draft day trade), Mike, Ja, JJJ, etc but we have to be patient for awhile
  • Trade- This seems the most likely option to acquire talent but if you get talent this way, they more than likely will have serious flaws. I use Z-Bo as an example. He was very talented but had red flags both on and off the court. It worked out. Not many teams are giving up perfect players for trash so you will more than likely give up something significant for a talented player with flaws.

So it appears that a trade for an established player would help us get better quick but who fits the criteria that would make Memphis fans happy?

I guess I don't understand how players are valued.  Dillon Brooks is a high level role player, but Kyle isn't, even though he's a better ball handler, passer/playmaker, rebounder, shot blocker, ball thief, shot a better percentage from the field as well as the arc, better offensive and defensive rating, higher win shares, definitely the best inbound passer on the team (I have never seen a Grizzlies' player make remotely close to as many inbound scoring plays), and probably the smartest basketball player on the team.  I think some of you really undervalue his contribution just because he's not a scorer.  He's not a star, but he's a darn good player who will nearly always make the right play.  I don't think he's easily replaced at all.  I say all that, but I think Dillon is hugely important to the team too, but for different reasons.  His  unrelenting pesky, physical defense, no fear of opponents, and willingness to take the big shots, and his irrational confidence are things that cannot be measured with statistics.  He may well be the heart and soul of the team right now.

I think we have been moving in the right direction.  If Jaren and BC are able to get back to form, if Desmond Bane makes even a little improvement, if X continues his development, then all we really need is some draft luck.  The jury is still out on this year's picks.  Let's hope they prove worthy of their selection.  In the next couple of seasons, if we can keep most of these guys around, we might be an impact player away from going deep in the playoffs.  Our team is young and should improve if they remain healthy.  These guys aren't close to their primes yet.

 

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2 hours ago, TimBC said:

JJJ might yet be a star.  So might ZW.  Bane has a chance to be at least more than a role player. Clarke looked as if he could, and there's still a flicker of hope. So I think we have to wait a few months and see what we have as our base for the next step. By then we should also have an idea where we rank vs other teams -- playoffs? lottery? stuck in between again? - so we'll see how many years out we need to think.   Meanwhile we have a team that will almost always be competitive and fun to watch. 

How long do you think it will take for ZW to be a productive NBA player?

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2 hours ago, Gradey said:

If the team performs well and is exciting, etc....it will become more attractive to FA talent.  Our best squads were some of the most boring teams in the league (hey not my opinion but the style and viewpoint of the majority of the league).  There was no desire to come to MEM to play in that style with those players.  Its not how folks in the L see themselves....people want to win and be exciting.

If you build it...they will come.

I agree to a certain extent but winning can only take you so far. There are a handful of teams that are destination cities and then after that, I would say there are another 12-15 cities where all things considered equal, players would probably go there over Memphis. 

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True that man, nature of the beast for the most part.  Being good def helps a small market team, that and having exciting players/play style.  I really think we could draw talent...maybe not the Lebrons of the world but talent.  At least better than we've been able to do so far.  You are right though, small markets are at a disadvantage....the management needs to be wise and lucky imo.  Buying your way through isnt an option.

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Internal improvement is clearly the route we're going for. I disagree with Jaren being a high level role player. I think he has potential to be our number one option on offense and a defensive player of the year type candidate. There are currently only two players in the NBA like that, AD and Embiid. He has a long way to go to get there (health, fouling, rebounding), but he does things on the court that not many people can do. Dillon can be a high level role player for sure, maybe even more. I liken him to a guy like Jrue Holiday. Jrue isn't the biggest or most athletic guy, but he is super skilled and as tough as anyone. Dillon has a lot of that in him, he just needs to be consistent. He averaged 25ppg in the playoffs while guarding the best player on the court. 

Melton, Bane, Brandon, ZW, even Culver are still very young and can add more to their game's.  Brandon is obviously older than those guys, but he's a consistent 3 pointer away from being a high level role player. He's an elite defender at his position and a high IQ guy, also need to rebound better. 

If we can hit on two of Melton, Bane, ZW, or Culver we can easily have our core for years to come. By hit I mean be high level role player like championship level teams have like Danny Green, Fred Van Vleet, Mikal Bridges, etc. 

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Toronto will title with only one superstar, as we have with Ja. I think the way for us is to develop players. We have a strong base ( Dilon my favorite, Kyle, Bane...), JJJ can become a fantastic player which could make us a very good team. On top of that we can make a good move (FA) or by trade. And cherry on the cake, we may have a guy willling to come back to Memphis  to ended his career here if we are good enough ( Mike)... Front office have done a good job so far,  but this year will be important. If JJJ does not improve, it may be a problem.

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Internal improvement, and not getting impatient and rushing the process..

The only outside players we will get are free agents that we will have to over pay, or a player with few options. Like others have said this team is young and we have to let them get farther along in their learning curve before we push our chips in... All we can really do is keep drafting well, and create a good culture that players we have are less likely to want out

 

 

 

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All our new core guys improve, take ownership, demand excellence of everyone. Continue a winning culture with improved shooting and defense. Coaching needs to continue developing players, it seems that they are doing a good job at this. If Z. Williams develops into what the front office thinks he is, this could be what brings it to a better level. I think if it all comes together a young free agent would love to come and play with this group.

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16 hours ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

So, after those long discussions in another thread about a player who I won’t name. It made me wonder and think of 2 questions:

  1. How will this team get better?
  2. Who is good enough for this team’s fans?

How Will This Team Get Better

Looking at this squad, imo, we have 1 potential star in Ja Morant, 2 high level role players in JJJ and DB and then just a bunch of guys. I mean, some are decent roles players, not high level, but decent role players like Melton, Anderson, Bane, Clarke, Adams,  etc but at the end of the day, they are just a bunch of guys. This team has overachieved the last 2 seasons and ended up in the play-in game. What is the ceiling for this team as currently constructed? Do we really think this team can make the playoffs on a regular basis and get far in the playoffs on a regular basis? I don’t think so. Now, they may shock the world and win the title next year with KA averaging 30 ppg. I don’t know, stranger things have happened (well, not really). How are we going to get better, not just this year but going forward? I’m not saying we need to get to the WC Finals this year but how can we even be a real threat to make the playoffs consistently and get to the 2nd round? How do we get a guy that is at the very least the 2nd best player on this team behind Ja but above JJJ and DB or preferably better than Ja? Obviously, there are 3 ways to get players-FA signing, draft, trade. Let’s examine those options and how realistic they are:

  • FA Signing- Correct me if I’m wrong but is Chandler Parsons the only FA that signed for more than the MLE with Memphis? This doesn’t seem to be a very viable option. Many teams struggle to sign FAs and the top ones more than likely already know where they are going (or maybe have a top 2). It’s really hard to pry a restricted FA away so this just doesn’t seem like a very viable option unless we somehow find ourselves in a situation with loads of cash, no other team with money and 2 or 3 high level FA available which doesn’t seem likely. Memphis is not an attractive option for free agents. Who’s our best FA signing ever? Tony Allen I guess? Just doesn’t seem realistic
  • ·Draft- This is a viable option if we can get a top 3 (or maybe top 5) draft pick and wait a couple of years. Problem is, I doubt if we will get a top 5 pick anytime soon. I guess we could make a draft day trade and give up future picks but we would still be a couple years away. It’s almost like we would get in a cycle of being a couple of years from being a couple of years away. This could happen but we would need to be patient for another 2-3 years. We’ve gotten good players this way from Pau (draft day trade), Rudy (draft day trade), Mike, Ja, JJJ, etc but we have to be patient for awhile
  • Trade- This seems the most likely option to acquire talent but if you get talent this way, they more than likely will have serious flaws. I use Z-Bo as an example. He was very talented but had red flags both on and off the court. It worked out. Not many teams are giving up perfect players for trash so you will more than likely give up something significant for a talented player with flaws.

So it appears that a trade for an established player would help us get better quick but who fits the criteria that would make Memphis fans happy?

The easiest way for this team to improve would be to develop the players we have here now. This team is sick with potential but lacking actual performance. Consider these things: 

Former Lottery PIcks:
Ja Morant
- #2 pick in the draft and living up to that draft position. Entering his 3rd season (usual breakout season for players on rookie contracts
Jaren Jackson - #4 pick and loaded with untapped potential. 3rd season was a let down but not due to on court performance as much as lingering issues with his recovery from knee issue. 
Kris Dunn - #5 overall pick in the 2018 draft. Has bounced around and yet to find his niche but the potential is there. 
Jarrett Culver - #6 pick in the 2019 draft. Got lost in Minnesota ( a dysfunctional team that has ruined many players who got better after leaving)
Ziaire Williams - A former top 5 rank coming out of high school who got lost at Stanford and dropped to 10th in the draft but has potential of a top 5 player from a deep draft class
Steven Adams - Former #12 pick in the draft who is actually not relying on potential. We know who he is and more importantly, so does he. 

Former 1st Round Picks (non-lottery):
Desmond Bane  - #30 pick in 2020. Despite the craziness of Covid protocols and an extremely deep rotation at SG last season Bane earned consistent minutes by the end of the year and looks to be in the top 8 rotation heading into his second season. 
Kyle Anderson - Former 2014 #30 pick out of UCLA, Kyle is an experienced player capable of performing in numerous roles. An intelligent player. Only 28, Kyle has shown the ability to continually upgrade his game as shown by his improved 3 pt shooting last season
Brandon Clarke - Former 2019 21st pick Clarke is likely at the end of his potential phase of his career due to his late start (23 yrs old when drafted). Clarke is beginning his important 3rd season and that is the time to break out if he is going to. An undersized big man  who struggled at times to find a role last season. This is an important year for Brandon. 
Tyus Jones - Former 24th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Jones spent four years in Minnesota before moving to Memphis via free agency. He is solid, experienced and won't make a ton of mistakes. IS there more? Who knows but that is all anyone has seen so far. 
Santi Aldama - Literally talked his way down to the 30th pick in the draft by politely refusing to work out with teams. Showed little in summer league but has been on the international level for a while and is highly regarded. 

Second Round Finds: 
Dillon Brooks - a steal in the 2nd round, Brooks has proven himself to be an excellent rotation player. If he can control his fouling and develop a consistent offensive stroke a solid starter for years to come.
Xavier Tillman - The breakout surprise last season that out Brandon Clarke on the bench in the playoffs. Has been compared to another 2nd round find (Draymond Green). Needs to improve his perimeter play and footwork to reach those heights however. 
De'Anthony Melton - Melton is a loveable player who can ignite a crowd with his sudden bursts of offense. Needs to play more in the system to get the chance to be more than a sharp shooter off the bench. 
Sam Merrill - You can't get any later in the draft than #60. Merrill is a sharp-shooter on the perimeter but hasn't shown a lot outside of that ability. Likely fighting with Kris Dunn for the final roster spot right now. 

Undrafted Players:
John Konchar
Killean Tilly (2way)
Yves Pons (2way)
 

Let the team grow for a while and see who is developing before shuffling them off for an established player who doesn't want to be here. 

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Bill:
Ted, while I agree that, in time, our band will be most triumphant. The truth is, Wyld Stallyns will never be a super band until we have Eddie Van Halen on guitar.

Ted:
Yes, Bill. But, I do not believe we will get Eddie Van Halen until we have a triumphant video.

Bill:
Ted, it's pointless to have a triumphant video before we even have decent instruments.

Ted:
Well, how can we have decent instruments when we don't really even know how to play?

Bill:
That is why we NEED Eddie Van Halen!

Ted:
And THAT is why we need a triumphant video.

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1 hour ago, chipc3 said:

The easiest way for this team to improve would be to develop the players we have here now. This team is sick with potential but lacking actual performance. Consider these things: 

Former Lottery PIcks:
Ja Morant
- #2 pick in the draft and living up to that draft position. Entering his 3rd season (usual breakout season for players on rookie contracts
Jaren Jackson - #4 pick and loaded with untapped potential. 3rd season was a let down but not due to on court performance as much as lingering issues with his recovery from knee issue. 
Kris Dunn - #5 overall pick in the 2018 draft. Has bounced around and yet to find his niche but the potential is there. 
Jarrett Culver - #6 pick in the 2019 draft. Got lost in Minnesota ( a dysfunctional team that has ruined many players who got better after leaving)
Ziaire Williams - A former top 5 rank coming out of high school who got lost at Stanford and dropped to 10th in the draft but has potential of a top 5 player from a deep draft class
Steven Adams - Former #12 pick in the draft who is actually not relying on potential. We know who he is and more importantly, so does he. 

Former 1st Round Picks (non-lottery):
Desmond Bane  - #30 pick in 2020. Despite the craziness of Covid protocols and an extremely deep rotation at SG last season Bane earned consistent minutes by the end of the year and looks to be in the top 8 rotation heading into his second season. 
Kyle Anderson - Former 2014 #30 pick out of UCLA, Kyle is an experienced player capable of performing in numerous roles. An intelligent player. Only 28, Kyle has shown the ability to continually upgrade his game as shown by his improved 3 pt shooting last season
Brandon Clarke - Former 2019 21st pick Clarke is likely at the end of his potential phase of his career due to his late start (23 yrs old when drafted). Clarke is beginning his important 3rd season and that is the time to break out if he is going to. An undersized big man  who struggled at times to find a role last season. This is an important year for Brandon. 
Tyus Jones - Former 24th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Jones spent four years in Minnesota before moving to Memphis via free agency. He is solid, experienced and won't make a ton of mistakes. IS there more? Who knows but that is all anyone has seen so far. 
Santi Aldama - Literally talked his way down to the 30th pick in the draft by politely refusing to work out with teams. Showed little in summer league but has been on the international level for a while and is highly regarded. 

Second Round Finds: 
Dillon Brooks - a steal in the 2nd round, Brooks has proven himself to be an excellent rotation player. If he can control his fouling and develop a consistent offensive stroke a solid starter for years to come.
Xavier Tillman - The breakout surprise last season that out Brandon Clarke on the bench in the playoffs. Has been compared to another 2nd round find (Draymond Green). Needs to improve his perimeter play and footwork to reach those heights however. 
De'Anthony Melton - Melton is a loveable player who can ignite a crowd with his sudden bursts of offense. Needs to play more in the system to get the chance to be more than a sharp shooter off the bench. 
Sam Merrill - You can't get any later in the draft than #60. Merrill is a sharp-shooter on the perimeter but hasn't shown a lot outside of that ability. Likely fighting with Kris Dunn for the final roster spot right now. 

Undrafted Players:
John Konchar
Killean Tilly (2way)
Yves Pons (2way)
 

Let the team grow for a while and see who is developing before shuffling them off for an established player who doesn't want to be here. 

Pretty **** good group, if one of the guys like Dunn, Culver, Aldama, Tilly, really surprises things could be real interesting.

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as far as luring a fa to come down here...

it is critical that jjj have a good year- not only for his own personal, financial reasons either. he needs to flourish and show the league what a great duo we have. guys will want to play with ja and a great other piece. we need that potential fa to be that third piece. (or, just have db turn into brilliance or have zaire hit big)..

 

slim.

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3 hours ago, chipc3 said:

Let the team grow for a while and see who is developing before shuffling them off for an established player who doesn't want to be here. 

This pretty much sums it up pretty well this takes a lot pantice for us as a fan base because we will see few more losses.

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Who should we trade for? Ben Simmons 

 

3 Team Deal

Memphis - Ben Simmons 

Sacramento - Melton, Kris Dunn, Jarret Culver 1 1st

Philly - Slow Mo, and Buddy Hield 2 1sts

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19 hours ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

How long do you think it will take for ZW to be a productive NBA player?

I don't think I've seen a Griz rookie (and I've been here ALL along) whose future was so unclear. 

Not even Thabeet, but only because he went from unicorn to unwanted in a matter of days. Only unclear for a short time. 

ZW might be very good by Dec. 1, or Dec. 1 2023, or never. He has a chance to be "Did you SEE that?" good. 

I expect some flashes of unicornality  [if that isn't a word it should be] right away. This team's going to be raining alley-oops.

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It's still nagging at me that Konchar might not make the team, and if that happens there's a reasonable chance we might end up at "Gaah, how did we let him get away????"

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2 hours ago, TimBC said:

It's still nagging at me that Konchar might not make the team, and if that happens there's a reasonable chance we might end up at "Gaah, how did we let him get away????"

Nah, I don't see that happening.  He might beat out Jaren.  After all, he was the team leader in rebounds and blocks in summer league,

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4 hours ago, The Stro Show said:

I could see James Ennis coming back lol

For his third stint in Memphis?  He's been on 7 different teams and several more than once.

In around 9 or 10 seasons, he averaged double digit scoring once for part of a season.  Career 36% from deep.

That should really be the final missing part of the puzzle.

the-ship.gif

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