The Grizzlies face no fewer than four major personnel decisions that will determine whether the core of the regular-season runner-up remains the same. Kleiman said owner Robert Pera will spend whatever is needed to retain the players the series wants.
“We’re not worried about small market concepts or any of this or that,” Kleiman said. “We will have absolutely no problem maintaining who we ultimately decide along the way as we continue to prioritize continuity.”
One decision is a no-brainer. Ja Morante He confirmed that he would sign an extension to the entry-level cap of at least $186 million over five years. If Morant makes his second team in the NBA next season, the contract will become a fantastic $223 million extension.
But what can the Grizzlies offer Teos Jones And Kyle Anderson, both of whom are unrestricted free agents? How much would a junior extension for Brandon Clark be worth, given that if Desmond Payne maintains his production next season, Bane could receive a maximum extension in 2023?
Keith Smith, an NBA salary cap analyst for Spotrac, a website that provides detailed sports salary information, detailed potential contract costs for Jones, Anderson and Clark in an interview with The Commercial Appeal.
BF Brandon Clark
Smith: I think the challenge with Clark is to answer this first: Is he the guy whose jump over the course of Years 2 and 3 is kind of slack in the regular season? Or is he the man who was a huge part of the team’s success in the playoff? If you think it’s the second, and you think the jumper might show the promise he showed in his rookie year, the 4-year, $48 million extension seems fair.
That’s roughly what Robert Williams III got from the Celtics, and they’re similar players. Williams has more ascendancy due to his ability to be a key defender in the back line, but Clarke can/should be a better offensive player. Additionally, you have to be careful not to get too big of a list with a bunch of guys on the max deals and anyone else with minimal deals or short-term deals across the exceptions.
PG Tyus Jones
Smith: I think Jones is the best reserve guard in the game. If the Grizzlies only wanted to do a two-year deal, I suppose two years, $20 million is the starting point. I wouldn’t be surprised if it went up a bit. I really have no problem if Memphis wants to invest something like four years, $40 million in Jones.
I think there’s a chance Ja Morant will waste a good chunk of time every season, given the way he plays and his slight build. I would like to have coverage if/when that happens, and no one provides better coverage than Jones.
SF Kyle Anderson
Smith: Anderson appears to be the man the Grizzlies are most likely to lose. Maybe not this summer, because the market is very tight and he’s obviously important to the team. Given the growth you’re hoping to see from Clark and (rookie) Zayer Williams, I’m not going to do more than a two-year deal with Anderson. If they can do something like two years, $20 million in the end, that’s fine.
Even if they went to a higher level and did two years, 24 million dollars, but the second year was a no-guaranteed or group choice, that would work. You can’t just lock up a guy like Anderson, given the makeup of the list as it is, the young men behind him and his age (28).
what does that mean
The Grizzlies have 12 players under contract for next season. If Jones and Anderson leave, the team will have just under $20 million in that off-season cover space, making them key players in free agency.
Based on Smith’s analysis, holding Jones or Anderson would still give the Grizzlies $10 million in roof space. However, the signing removes that option and indicates that the team can explore potential deals or trust this roster to repeat their success from this season.
If the Grizzlies keep Jones and Anderson and their first-round picks, which will bring in $4.8 million in 2022-23, they will be more than the expected $122 million salary cap. They are allowed a $10.3 million mid-level exemption and a $4.1 semi-annual exemption to use with free agents, but with 16 players on contract, that’s unlikely to work.
For Clark, he was the sixth most valuable man, but is his fortune $12 million a year? He is arguably a top 10 player in the draft class and brings valuable energy around the edge. However, the Grizzlies could delay its extension and explore its commercial value in the same way they might with Dillon Brooks.
Continuity may be a priority for Kleiman and Berra, but it doesn’t come cheap. It’s risky and not only will their decisions about Jones and Anderson affect next season, but how the Grizzlies improve their fortunes over the next two or three years.
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