A closer look at potential roster cuts

The Grizzlies have loaded up on players this offseason and now find themselves with 18 players, 17 guaranteed contracts and only 15 roster spots available. The final roster seems to be changing on almost daily now that we have two preseason games already finished. It is really tough to try and determine what lineups will be this early in the season, but it’s clear Coach Fizdale is trying to see what he has in all his players every chance he gets.

Who is most likely to make the final roster? I separated the Grizzlies roster into three categories, core players who will definitely be on the roster, players who most likely fill out the end of the roster, and then players who may be on the outside looking in at the end of camp.

Core players like Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons, and JaMychal Green are not part of this exercise, so let’s move straight to the end of the bench and players who might be on the outside looking in categories. I think that Wade Baldwin, Dillon Brooks, and Ivan Rabb are most likely safe and have a spot on the roster. The Grizzlies still have a vested interest in Wade Baldwin IV, and I don’t think they are going to up another first round pick that didn’t work out just yet. Dillon Brooks and Ivan Rabb are newly drafted players as well, and again, the Grizzlies are invested in these two players to at least see what they have with them.

Jarell Martin is a player that was reportedly cut and then went out and played well in preseason. Martin could very well still be cut, but the team insists that he has not been cut at this point. Martin has never really developed and has never showed the team that he can play in the NBA at the level they need him to play at. That being said, I still think the Grizzlies keep him on the roster if he continues to play well in the preseason.

Now for the players that I think are on the outside looking in. First is Durand Scott, who was just signed after the team waived Jeremy Morgan. He was a camp invite and won’t make the final roster. The other choice to be waived I think is Andrew Harrison, now that Mario Chalmers has showed that he will be the backup point guard going forward, and the Grizzlies not giving up on Wade Baldwin, Harrison could be the odd man out in the backcourt. The team would then have to choose between Rade Zagorac and Deyonta Davis. Rade Zagorac just inked a new 3 year 3.9 million dollar deal this summer, but he is clearly outmatched on the NBA court. You can really see that the speed of the NBA game is too fast for him.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder
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Deyonta Davis on the other hand, was the player everyone thought would be the next big for the future of the franchise, but Davis has not looked good. During summer league Davis did not look like he cared about shooting the ball ever, and it does not look like much has changed in the preseason. Davis is clearly a great rebounder and defender, but he will have to do more to impact the game at the NBA level. My guess is that Rade is going to be odd man out when it comes time to trim the final roster. Deyonta will be the third center on the team and typically the Grizzlies like to keep three big guys on the roster, especially with the injury history to Marc Gasol. Rade just isnt ready for the NBA, and they should have waited to bring him over, instead they will likely have to waive him and still owe him money.

There is still a chance that Jarell Martin, Andrew Harrison,, and Durand Scott are the ones that are cut. If Martin comes back down to earth and plays like his old self again, I would put Martin in place of Rade for the last player to be cut before the season starts.

The Grizzlies have to make decisions before the season begins and at least two of them will end up with them owing guaranteed contracts to players. With a little more foresight and better roster construction during the summer they could have avoided this completely, but they didn’t and this is where they find themselves nine days before the season starts.

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