Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Memphis Grizzlies.
- Standard contracts:
- Jonas Valanciunas: Three years, $45MM. Re-signed using Bird rights.
- Tyus Jones: Three years, $26.45MM. Signed using mid-level exception. Timberwolves didn’t match offer sheet.
- Marko Guduric: Two years, $5.38MM. Signed using bi-annual exception.
- Two-way contracts:
- Non-guaranteed camp contracts:
- Acquired Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Grayson Allen, the draft rights to Darius Bazley (No. 23 pick), and the Jazz’s 2020 first-round pick (1-7 and 15-30 protected) from the Jazz in exchange for Mike Conley.
- Acquired Dwight Howard from the Wizards in exchange for C.J. Miles.
- Acquired the draft rights to Brandon Clarke (No. 21 pick) from the Thunder in exchange for the draft rights to Darius Bazley (No. 23 pick) and the Grizzlies’ 2024 second-round pick.
- Acquired Andre Iguodala, the Warriors’ 2024 first-round pick (top-four protected), and cash ($2MM) from the Warriors in exchange for Julian Washburn (two-way).
- Acquired Josh Jackson, De’Anthony Melton, the Suns’ 2020 second-round pick, and the Suns’ 2021 second-round pick (protected 36-60) from the Suns in exchange for Kyle Korver and Jevon Carter.
- Acquired Miles Plumlee and Solomon Hill from the Hawks in exchange for Chandler Parsons.
- Acquired the draft rights to Satnam Singh, the Trail Blazers’ 2021 second-round pick, and either the Mavericks’ or Heat’s 2023 second-round pick (whichever is less favorable) from the Mavericks in exchange for Delon Wright (sign-and-trade).
- 1-2: Ja Morant — Signed to rookie contract.
- 1-21: Brandon Clarke — Signed to rookie contract.
Other offseason news:
- Fired head coach J.B. Bickerstaff.
- Hired Taylor Jenkins as head coach.
- Hired Brad Jones, Niele Ivey, and other assistant coaches; Jones will be lead assistant.
- Re-assigned head of basketball operations Chris Wallace to scouting department.
- Promoted Jason Wexler to president of basketball/business operations; promoted Zach Kleiman to executive VP of basketball operations.
- Hired Rich Cho as VP of basketball strategy and Glen Grunwald as senior advisor.
- Promoted Tayshaun Prince to VP of basketball affairs.
- Andre Iguodala not reporting to camp.
- Josh Jackson entered diversion program to settle misdemeanor charge; will start season in G League.
- De’Anthony Melton to miss 4-8 weeks due to stress reaction in back.
Salary cap situation:
- Remained over the cap.
- Carrying approximately $124.05MM in guaranteed salary.
- $998K of bi-annual exception still available (used $2.63MM on Marko Guduric).
- Seven traded player exceptions available; largest TPE ($4.74MM) expires 7/8/20.
Story of the summer:
It was the end of an era in Memphis in more ways than one in 2019. The Grizzlies completed a massive overhaul of their front office and coaching staff in the spring, ensuring that longtime decision-makers like Chris Wallace and John Hollinger were no longer calling the shots. In their place, Jason Wexler and Zach Kleiman are running the show, with help from veteran basketball executives like Rich Cho and Glen Grunwald.
The Grizzlies’ new-look management group completed a series of roster changes that Wallace’s group started earlier in the year. After trading Marc Gasol at last year’s deadline, Memphis sent Mike Conley to Utah this summer, fully severing ties with the squad that earned seven consecutive playoff berths from 2011-17. The longest-tenured Grizzlies players are now 2017 draftees Ivan Rabb and Dillon Brooks.
With long-term franchise cornerstones Gasol and Conley no longer in the picture, the Grizzlies are betting on Jaren Jackson Jr. and this year’s No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant as the new foundational pieces in Memphis. Both players are still just 20 years old, so the franchise will take a patient approach in building around them, and that patience was on display this offseason.
In addition to trading Conley, the Grizzlies also gained assets by taking on unwanted contracts belonging to Andre Iguodala and Josh Jackson, and by agreeing to sign-and-trade restricted free agent Delon Wright to Dallas. In total, those deals netted Memphis three first-round picks and several more second-rounders, setting the organization’s rebuild on the right track.
It’s still very early in the process, so it’s not clear yet how the Grizzlies’ current pieces will fit together or what other opportunities will arise as they wait for JJJ and Morant to develop into impact players. But the 2019 offseason represented a promising start to that process.