After being one of the NBA’s first casualties of the new amnesty provision, guard Gilbert Arenas remains without a team.
The often injured, streaky shooter is looking for a guaranteed deal but seeing how he hasn’t played on an NBA court for quite sometime, the Memphis Grizzlies are willing to give him a shot at returning to the NBA albeit he has to participate in a private workout first.
According to the Commercial Appeal, Memphis is looking to bolster their backcourt by adding Arenas but if the Grizzlies do add him, he will be offered the veteran minimum.
A source said the Grizzlies are in a conditional pursuit of Arenas. Memphis wants to see Arenas in a private workout before making a decision. The Griz originally sought to sign Arenas to a 10-day contract but the veteran combo guard is looking for a guaranteed deal for the rest of the season.
Orlando still owes Arenas $62 million for using the one-time amnesty provision. If Arenas were to sign with the Griz, they could only offer him the veteran’s minimum worth about $1.4 million.
Last season Arenas averaged career lows with 10.8 points and shooting 36.6-percent. A far cry from his career averages of 21.2 points and 41.2% shooting. However, at 30, the NBA veteran could provide Memphis with a much-needed boost to their backcourt if he can find the spark which made him an all-star.
Moreover, the Grizzlies have been playing solid basketball despite losing star center Zach Randolph for most of the season due to injury. Currently, Memphis is third in the Southwest Division at 24-17. So adding Arenas could only help more than hurt and he would be added on the cheap.
Looking at Memphis’ guard depth chart, one can see why the front office would like to shore up the guard spot. Aside form Mike Conley, the Grizzlies have Josh Selby, Jeremy Pargo, Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo. That quartet doesn’t really inspire confidence, at least on the offensive end. Furthermore, with Marc Gasol and Randolph’s (when he returns) inside-presence, having Arenas out on the perimeter will create spacing for Memphis’ bigs and of course, lead to some open looks for Arenas to knock down.
So should Arenas be added to the squad, it wouldn’t really hurt. He would come cheap, a short-term deal, and could be a steal if (and that’s a big “if”) he can regain his status as one of the premier offensive guards in the NBA.