At the start of this year's free agent period, the Grizzlies were pursuing relatively big-name free agents such as Ray Allen, willing to offer the full mid-level exception. At the time, I expressed some skepticism that Memphis could offer the full $5MM mid-level if the team hoped to re-sign Darrell Arthur and Marreese Speights.
Sure enough, since agreeing to terms with both Arthur and Speights, the Grizzlies have turned their focus to the $3MM taxpayer MLE, says Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. According to Tillery, Memphis is eyeing players like Jodie Meeks, Willie Green, and Jordan Farmar.
Green and Farmar are asking for the full mini mid-level, while Meeks and rumored target Sonny Weems could probably be signed for a little less than $3MM, says Tillery. The Grizzlies are also said to be eyeing Jerryd Bayless, who is now an unrestricted free agent, though I'd guess he'll receive offers worth a little more than the mini mid-level.
For his part, GM Chris Wallace remains confident that the Grizzlies will add a shooter and a backup point guard, despite not landing their initial targets.
"All the people we're talking to [now] have a track record," Wallace said. "Have they made All-Star teams? No. But how many free agents out there have? We were involved with Ray [Allen]. We offered him more money [than the Heat]. We were right there with Jason Terry. We've talked to a ton of people since this started."