JaMychal Green

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Three questions the Memphis Grizzlies must answer this season

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The NBC/ProBasketballTalk season previews will ask the questions each of the 30 NBA teams must answer this season to make their season a success. We are looking at one team a day until the start of the season, and it begins with a look back at the team’s offseason moves.

Last season: 43-39, lost to San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs

I know what you did last summer: Memphis moved on from the “grit n’ grind” era by letting Zach Randolph and Tony Allen leave via free agency. Vince Carter also left, and the Grizzlies got younger and looked to the future re-signing JaMychal Green (two-year deal) and took a gamble on a young player with potential who didn’t work out in Sacramento in Ben McLemore (who will be out with a broken foot until Christmas at least). The Grizzlies also drafted Ivan Rabb and Dillon Brooks, and added Tyreke Evans and Mario Chalmers.


1) Zach Randolph and Tony Allen are gone, did the Grizzlies lose their identity? Did they get worse? This season is going to be different in Memphis, the “grit n’ grind” era has come to an end with the Grindfather himself down in New Orleans (a team that could use some grit). Randolph rejuvenated his career in Memphis and was loved by fans. Memphis’ identity will change some this season.

The thing is, on the court those losses aren’t that serious. Randolph was a bench guy asked to put up shots, and at age 35 Allen could still defend some but opposing teams didn’t have to guard him on the other end of the floor. They were rightfully beloved, but be blunt their on-the-court skills can be replaced.

Memphis is going to be competitive and about at the same level if Mike Conley and Marc Gasol can stay healthy and continue to contribute. Those are both All-Star level players (although neither likely makes the team this season in the stacked West) — Gasol added an efficient 19.5 points per game last season and showed he could shoot threes, Conley averaged 20.5 points per game, shot 40 percent from three, and remained a quality defender. If the production from those two is about the same this team will be around the same number of wins and hang around in the fight for one of the bottom three playoff spots in the West.

Those two should get a little more help this season, too. Chandler Parsons should be able to give them more than 34 unimpressive games (see the next question). JaMychal Green is a year older and should take another step forward. James Ennis has been working hard this summer on his ball handling, midrange game, and being effective in the pick-and-roll. The Grizzlies will get more out of the backup point guard spot (will that be from Mario Chalmers is another question). The Grizzlies are not threatening the Warriors, but healthy this is still a playoff team.

2) Do the Grizzlies get anything out of Chandler Parsons? This feels like an annual question. Parsons, battling knee injuries again, played in just 34 games last season and didn’t look good when on the court — he wasn’t creating shots, and he wasn’t spacing the floor, shooting just 33 percent from three. He was signed to be the third guy to be in the core with Gasol and Conley, and to this point he has done little in Memphis save eat good barbecue.

This is really about his knees — if he can move freely, he can contribute. If his knees hamper how he moves, he will not. If he can contribute on offense, the Grizzlies look a lot more like a playoff team, even in the crowded West. If he can’t, the load on Gasol and Conley may be too much.

3) At what point — next summer? — do the Grizzlies decide it’s time to go full in for the rebuild? Right now, the Grizzlies are not changing their plans or goals — Gasol and Conley were untouchable when teams called about trades this summer.

But for how long? Gasol sounded this summer like a guy who doesn’t want to be on a team treading water in the West for much longer. Gasol has two seasons and a player option on his deal, Conley has three plus an option, and at some point Memphis may want to consider moving one or both of them in trades, while their value is high, to get assets back that help the eventual rebuild. Grizzlies ownership/management isn’t there yet, but if the team struggles this season will that change around the trade deadline? Will it change next summer? This era of Grizzlies basketball — the best era in its history, with a couple of trips to the conference finals — is starting to wind down. At some point, Memphis will want to make moves while their best players still have trade value.

But that time is not yet. Not this season.

Report: JaMychal Green, Grizzlies nearing two-year, $17 million deal

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Earlier today, we passed along a report from the Memphis Commercial Appeal that likely starting forward JaMychal Green and the Grizzlies were nowhere near a deal. Looks like someone was trying to get some spin out in public to push the deal over the finish line (and it was almost certainly the team). The earlier reports of a deal being close turned out to be correct.

It worked. Green and the Grizzlies agreed to a two-year, $17 million deal on Wednesday, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Restricted free agent JaMychal Green is finalizing a two-year, $17 million-plus deal to return to the Memphis Grizzlies, league sources told The Vertical.

Green worked toward coming to terms on the fully guaranteed two-year deal Wednesday. By closing in on an agreement, Green and the Grizzlies will avoid an Oct. 1 deadline of the $2.8 million qualifying offer. Green will also position himself to return to free agency in the summer of 2019, when the market is expected to be less treacherous than 2018.

That last sentence touches on why this deal works for both sides. For Memphis, they get a young, solid starting power forward who can start next to Marc Gasol and provide some of the athleticism the Spaniard doesn’t have. David Fizdale started him in front of Zach Randolph for a reason. With this, Memphis doesn’t lock itself in long term, but in a couple of years they may be looking to rebuild.

For Green, he makes some money — he’s played on 10-day and minimum contracts so far, making $1.9 million through three seasons — but he doesn’t get tied down long term. If he had signed the qualifying offer, he would have struggled next July because next season the free agent market is again going to be tight, particularly for bigs, and there will be quality guys on the market ahead of him. He can bet on himself, but it’s a risk.

Report: Grizzlies, JaMychal Green not close to deal

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A few weeks back, it appeared the Grizzlies and their likely starting power forward JaMychal Green were moving toward a two-year contract extension, reportedly for just less than $10 million a season. Green probably sees that as below market value, but he’s a restricted free agent big man in a tight market and others in his position — Nerlens Noel, Alex Len just to name a couple — have felt the brunt of the market this summer and struggled to get deals they thought they deserved. The Grizzlies have the leverage, and they are using it.

With no deal, Green has yet to appear in training camp. By Sunday the two sides need to have reached an agreement or Green will sign his qualifying offer, play this season for $2.8 million, then be an unrestricted free agent next summer. Right now, the two sides are nowhere near a deal, reports Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

As of Tuesday night, the Grizzlies and restricted free agent forward JaMychal Green weren’t close to making a deal…

“Everyone knows how we feel about him. I love him. He knows that,” (Memphis coach David) Fizdale said. “The fact that I was willing to start him over an All-Star (Zach Randolph) means my actions say enough about how I feel about him. Right now, I have to coach the living, the guys on the court.”

The Grizzlies have about $12-$15 million to go before they reach the salary tax line (which they will not pay), so they could go a little higher, but they don’t have much motivation to do so. The Grizzlies do need Green to take another step forward and play well this season if Memphis dreams of the playoffs (they have to stay healthy), but Green doesn’t have another option.

Green’s other problem is that next season the free agent market is again going to be tight, particularly for bigs, and there will be quality guys on the market ahead of him. He can bet on himself, but it’s a risk.

A two-year deal makes sense for both sides — Green gets back on the market sooner, the Grizzlies keep him for a couple more years with Mike Conley and Marc Gasol — and sometimes the pressure of the deadline leads to gaps being closed. We’ll see if that happens in Memphis, or if Green bets on himself for next summer.

Report: Grizzlies discussed paying JaMychal Green $8 million-$9 million

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The Grizzlies reportedly offered JaMychal Green significantly more than his $2,820,497 qualifying offer earlier in the summer, and now they’re progressing toward a two-year deal.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:

the Grizzlies were rumored to be talking about a deal in the $8-9 million range.

I wonder whether that’s still the range being discussed. Memphis has a lot of leverage on Green, a restricted big – a double whammy for free agents this year. That salary for Green might be about “fair,” but with so much of the market dried up, the Grizzlies might have lowered their offer.

Green has earned just the minimum in his two-plus NBA seasons. This is finally his opportunity to bank life-changing money, and even if it’s not as much as he hoped, it’ll probably still far exceed the qualifying offer.