Gasol is almost 33, Conley is coming off a career year, and the Grizz have allowed a frightening number of opponent 3-point attempts for two seasons running. What happens if more of them go in? What happens if Memphis doesn’t break math and win a preposterous number of toss-up games for the zillionth straight season? The Grizzlies have rebuffed all calls about Gasol and Conley; does that change if they sink fast?
But they pull that close-game magic every season. It is in their basketball DNA. They will be rock solid on defense. Gasol and Conley wring something out of every half-court trip, and David Fizdale will have these guys busting it.
On paper, they are a lottery team.
This is a busy tier everywhere save for small forward, where we find Khris Middleton in a position to consume tons of minutes and touches as the complementary playmaker to Antetokounmpo. I’m guessing four names stick out most in addition to Milwaukee’s wing: Dennis Schroder, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kristaps Porzingis and Nikola Vucevic.
Do these players merit association with the likes of proven fantasy stars such as McCollum and Millsap? Schroder was ninth in usage rate last season while the team was still approaching competence and could prove Westbrookian this season on a depleted Atlanta offense.
Aldridge has gone from coveted to boring pretty quickly, but he was one of just 15 players to average at least 17 points and seven boards last season. Porzingis is now the centerpiece in the Garden and could be this season’s Antetokounmpo — the player who vaults into the superstar tier in regards to statistical dynamism.