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Navarro to Play in Spain
June 20
, 2008

Perhaps buried in the news, but with the potential to be significant fantasy-wise, was Juan Carlos Navarro signing a five year contract to play in Spain .  Last season Navarro played 26 minutes per game, playing in all 82 games for the Memphis Grizzlies.

The removal for Navarro from the backcourt rotation will open more playing time for Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry.  Both are young talented players who have been somewhat hidden playing on the small market Memphis team that was buried in the Western Conference last season.  Conley's profile was further lowered by missing many games early in the season with injuries. 

But Conley, the 4th overall pick in the 2007, is considered a cornerstone of the Grizzlies franchise.  His game progressed last season, finishing on a strong note offensively.  Over his last eight games he averaged 14 points per game and made 1.6 treys per game at 45%.  As a point guard, he will provide assists and his output in the steal category should improve.  Over the last eight games his assist to turnover ratio was a very good 3.3-1. Conley will be a top 100 player next season.

Lowry showed offensive potential scoring 9 or more points over his last fifteen games.  He is strong from two-point range as a guard shooting 49%, but he would be well-advised to be more selective from three point range as he took 140 attempts and made only 36.  He also needs to figure out what went wrong at the free throw line as he went from 89% his rookie year to 70%.  Adding to his fantasy appeal is his ability to get some assists and steals. His fantasy potential has a cap to it with Conley slotted to man the point guard and considering the Grizzlies would be a small backcourt with both on the floor at the same time.  For that reason look for him after 120 players are taken.

The Grizzlies have the fifth overall pick, and it is expected they will find their frontcourt more important to improve, keeping Conley and Lowry safe from seeing additional competition via a high draft pick.

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