NBA season preview: Memphis Grizzlies


STAYING: Jordan Adams, Tony Allen, Vince Carter, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, JaMychal Green, Jarell Martin, Zach Randolph and Brandan Wright.

ADDED: Wade Baldwin (Vanderbilt), Troy Daniels (Charlotte), Deyonta Davis (Michigan State), James Ennis (New Orleans), Andrew Harrison (Iowa Energy), Chandler Parsons (Dallas), Wayne Selden (Kansas), DJ Stephens (Iowa Energy), Troy Williams (Indiana University) and Tony Wroten (New York).

GONE: Chris Andersen (Cleveland), Matt Barnes (Sacramento), Bryce Cotton (Anadolu Efes), Jordan Farmar (Sacramento), PJ Hairston, Xavier Munford and Lance Stephenson (New Orleans).

STRENGTHS: Toughness and professionalism … That they were able to make the playoffs with massive injury problems in 2015-16 speaks to the competitiveness of the team … The roster is filled with veterans who know how to get the job done … Execution and effort have not been issues for this club in many years … If healthy, Marc Gasol is among the top centers in the game … Despite the lack of flash, the same goes for Mike ConleyChandler Parsons was quite a signing in free agency … He gives Memphis another offensive threat, which is really welcome … Defense will likely remain the team’s calling card, though.

WEAKNESSES: Health? … While there’s a positive side to having a lot of veterans, it often comes with the prize of durability concerns and shortcomings in terms of athleticism … Both were obvious last season … Very little depth … If one of the key guys goes down to injury, the talent drop-off is considerable … That’s especially true at point guard … Could the pressure of the biggest NBA contract ever weigh down on Mike Conley? … The grit-and-grind approach is kind of counter-cultural in the NBA these days and perhaps will not be as effective as it once was … They could use a few more shooters … Don’t expect them to get many easy baskets in the open court … Is rookie head coach David Fizdale ready for this?

PREDICTION: 3rd in the Southwest Division, 8th in the Western Conference.



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