2. Gorgui Dieng, Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are another example of a team that very well could turn it around as they have some serious talent on the roster. Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. form one of the best young duos in the league.
The problem is that Ja Morant is going to miss 3-5 weeks in total with an ankle injury while Jackson probably won’t return until February at the very earliest. By the time the two young stars return, the 3-6 Grizzlies may not be in a position to contend in the Western Conference.
Morant and Jackson are both really good, but are they good enough to completely flip a team that might be 10+ games under .500? Probably not.
Regardless, that opens the door for the Grizzlies to buyout any expiring contracts and the one player that instantly jumps off the bat is Gorgui Dieng. Dieng is someone who the Grizzlies would be just fine without, who would be even easier to part ways with once Jackson returns.
Like Lopez, Dieng would give the Lakers another player at the center position for roster depth. Dieng has averaged as many as 1.7 blocks per game in his career and could absolutely grab five boards and a block off the bench for the Lakers.
If the Grizzlies go on some type of big run then Dieng is likely going to stay. But that is unlikely.