The Memphis Grizzlies have been exceeding expectations thus far this season. While it was easy to get high on the Grizzlies before the season with Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr, Jackson has not yet played this season and Morant missed eight of the team’s 16 games.
The Grizzlies are still 9-7 and are naturally going to be in the race for the Western Conference play-in tournament.
However, as the team gets healthy and players return from injury, some current players that are getting decent minutes may see their playing time shrink. If those players have big contracts, the small-market Grizzlies could look to buy them out.
Gorgui Dieng fits that billing. Dieng is making $15.7 million this season, putting him in the same boat as Fournier where it would be nearly impossible to see a team matching that salary and taking it on via a trade.
Thus, Dieng is a prime buyout candidate and he could give the Los Angeles Lakers the depth that they need at the center position. The frequent readers here at Lake Show Life are probably exhausted with the center talk, but it is a legitimate need.
You tell me what the team’s plan is if Marc Gasol gets hut or gets in early foul trouble in a playoff game against Nikola Jokic? It would be a disaster.
At six-foot-ten Dieng provides the traditional center size off the bench, albeit he is not a huge rebounding presence. However, he is a better defender than Montrezl Harrell and can actually shoot the rock as well, allowing the Lakers to run similar offensive sets with Dieng as they would Gasol.
Dieng actually leads the NBA in three-point percentage this season, shooting 51.6% from beyond the arc in 2.4 attempts per game. That is obviously a weighted number, but he has shot a combined 37.2% from beyond the arc over the last three seasons.