NBA Future Power Rankings 16. Memphis Grizzlies
*Photo via AP
Despite being one of the top teams in the league, the Memphis Grizzlies couldn’t quite squeeze into the top 15 of the future power rankings. The Grizzlies will likely be competing for a championship this season, but the roster could look much different after next summer. Memphis currently has five unrestricted free agents next summer and three more the following offseason.
Signing Marc Gasol to a 5-year, $87 Million dollar contract (player option on final year) this summer was a no brainer. Gasol is the team’s best player and the best center in the NBA. Gasol is still only 30 years old and his game should age well. Gasol anchors one of the best defenses in the league, can score in the post, has a decent jumper, and is a great passer.
The Grizzlies also handed out one of the best value contracts in acquiring Brandan Wright (3YR/$17MM). They also traded for Matt Barnes, who is a veteran three-and-D wing and should be a good fit in the Grindhouse. If Memphis can find reliable three-point shooting, watch out.
*Photo via Getty Images
Like we mentioned previously, Memphis could be in for a shake up next summer. Jeff Green, Courtney Lee and Mike Conley Jr. will all be unrestricted free agents in 2016, right as the cap explodes. The Grizzlies do have cap space, but I see majority of that used to re-sign those three. In the summer of 2017, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen and Vince Carter will be free to walk. Memphis could potentially lose six rotation players in the next two years, which would eliminate all title hopes.
In addition to possibly losing current players, Memphis owes two first round picks (’16, ’18), which could slow their reload/rebuild as the Smash Brothers era winds down. Even with Gasol, the Grizzlies have too many pieces hanging in the balance to rank them higher than 16.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com, NBA.com, ESPN.com
Salary cap and contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com, Hoopshype.com, Basketballinsiders.com
Future draft commitments and rosters information courtesy of RealGM.com