Monday, August 20, 2007

Players to keep an eye on (Part 2)

In Part 1, I looked at a few players that the Grizzlies could acquire at some point this season, in an effort to offload either Damon Stoudamire, Stromile Swift or both. Now, I want to take a look at some players that the Grizzlies organization might want to keep tabs on, as they will be free agents over the next 3 seasons. I won't be discussing any big names, because everyone already knows the book on them and the cash it will require to sign them. I'll also be using the dates that these players become unrestricted free agents, because we all know that it is typically futile to attempt to sign a restricted free agent to a reasonable contract.

2008 Free Agents

Chris Duhon (PG - Chicago Bulls) -- Could be a great backup PG if Ben Gordon presses the issue about starting in Chicago, leading to even fewer minutes for Duhon. Also, Memphis might be ready to move either Conley or Lowry if the other proves capable of being the definitive "PG of the future" this season, leaving room for an experienced player to fill.

Ryan Gomes (F - Minnesota Timberwolves) -- A solid player with a high basketball IQ, Gomes has a good all-around game. He's also the type of player that championship-level teams covet, so there will probably be a lot of competition for his services.

Francisco Elson (C - San Antonio Spurs) -- A capable backup, who can provide enough to allow Darko/Pau a few extra minutes rest over the long haul of the regular season.

Chris Quinn (G - Miami Heat) -- If the Grizzlies are successful at finding a trade partner to take Damon Stoudamire, but still have both Conley and Lowry, they'd likely want a low-priced option in case of injury. Quinn hasn't been provided with much of an opportunity to play, but his 3:1 assist to turnover ratio in 9.6 MPG last season is encouraging.

Walter Herrmann (F- Charlotte Bobcats) -- I already detailed him in Part 1, but if a trade fails, there is a chance that he could be signed outright in the offseason.

2009 Free Agents

Josh Childress (G/F - Atlanta Hawks) -- He's a little more well-known than most of the players on this list, but I see this as a move contingent upon one of two circumstances coming to fruition. If Rudy/Tarence/Navarro fail to develop as a consistent NBA starter that fit in with Iavaroni's system or if Mike Miller's production falls off over the next two seasons, then Childress is a player I'd like the Grizzlies to look at pursuing as an unrestricted free agent.

Chris Wilcox (F/C - Seattle SuperSonics) -- A solid, if unspectacular post player, Wilcox could be a player to pursue if Darko doesn't quite pan out. He'd be a nice complement to Gasol, providing an intimidating presence in the paint.

Trevor Ariza (SF - Orlando Magic) -- Similar to the scenario I laid out with Josh Childress, Ariza could be a nice player to add if our young players don't develop. Ariza could also be a solid primary backup if the Grizzlies shorten their roster as the Suns have done of the past few seasons.

2010 Free Agents

David Lee (F - New York Knicks) -- Probably nothing more than a pipe dream, as he is already one of the most efficient players in the NBA, but he exemplifies the kind of player that title contenders usually have on their roster.

Mouhamed Saer Sene (C - Seattle SuperSonics) -- Having drafted a center three consecutive years means that one of them won't be resigned when it comes time for extensions to be handed out. If the Grizzlies cannot trade for Sene, then signing the player who could be another Desagana Diop would be ideal. A raw shotblocker, Sene might develop some rebounding skills over the next few seasons. If nothing else, it is always nice to have a defensive minded center laying around.

Those are the players that I would keep an eye on to chart their development and production. If there is anyone that I have missed or that should be reconsidered, feel free to mention them in the Comments.

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