It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Memphis Grizzlies slowly moving away from their “defense-first” approach next season, at least slightly, and their attempt to move Tayshaun Prince, whose main fault is having a bad contract attached to him, failing to do so with the Minnesota Timberwolves, is a good example.
Prince got a $28 million, four-year extension from the Detroit Pistons in 2011, giving him $14.9 million for the next couple of seasons. While Prince is valuable to the Grizzlies in his ability to defend, his experience and his ability to knock down open three point shots (36.6% with Memphis), his deal is a bad one considering he is 33 and not likely to get any better in the next two seasons.
According to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, Memphis tried shopping Prince to the Minnesota Timberwolves before Corey Brewer eventually landed in Minnesota. While Brewer isn’t the defender Prince is (and defense is going to be a problem for the Timberwolves next season), he’s only 27, and a much better offensive player. His contract is much better as well considering the age difference.
The Grizzlies aren’t stuck with Prince. He’s still a good player who played an important part as they got rid of the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the postseason, making the conference finals for the first time in franchise history. Yet is there a better option than him on the bench?
Quincy Pondexter has seen his minutes rise last season to over 20 a game for the first time in his career, and he played an even bigger part in the playoffs, averaging 8.9 points per game. But is he ready to be a starter on a team that sees itself as a contender in the West? While long-term, dealing Prince for a second-round draft pick or a negligible contract might have a chance to work, the Grizzlies are about the now, and putting Pondexter in the lineup instead of him won’t help them win too many playoff series.