June 29, 2017
PF/C, 6’10, 255lbs, 29 years old, 9 years of experience
Good season as the relatively unathletic backup stretch five that he has become. Proved himself to be an efficient three point shooter on a high volume in a way he never had prior, and although his defence of the rim and on the perimeter is poor, he does at least try, provides some energy and enthusiasm, and takes many charges (second in the league with 33 despite being a bench player). Speights has always been a productive, aggressive if not especially efficient scorer, and with the development of his three point shot has done a good job of reinventing himself as a stretch five in the NBA. Has therefore played his way into a pay rise, and merits being brought back with one, but without Bird rights to do it with, he might not get one here.
Player Plan: Has declined his player option and become an UFA. Worthy of taxpayer MLE money but not having Bird rights will make it difficult. Probably the better bet to find a defensive big for cheap (a la Cole Aldrich previously) while working Stone into the Speights role. Would be great to re-sign him with non-Bird rights, but this is surely not feasible.
October 18, 2013
[...] In comparison, 36 such players have signed within those parameters in 2013. And in contrast to 2008, those names are often established quality role players who aren't quite stars and who rightly aren't being paid like it. At the top end, players like Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, Brandon Jennings, Jarrett Jack, Jeff Teague and Carl Landry are all getting acceptable prices, perhaps $2 million annually less than they would have done five years ago. At the bottom end, established role players like Marreese Speights, Tony Allen and Chris Kaman are getting paid adequately for their useful role player production. And unlike in 2008, those deals like Kaman's are not too long. See also Greg Stiemsma, Tyler Hansbrough, Mike Dunleavy Jr, Dorell Wright and Randy Foye, none more than three years in length, some as short as one.
January 4, 2012
In a three-team deal consummated today, the Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to move unused lottery pick Xavier Henry to New Orleans, receiving unused near-lottery pick Marreese Speights from Philadelphia in return, with both teams giving a second round pick to the Sixers for their troubles.
[...] However, with the simultaneous announcement that Randolph is set to miss two months with tendon damage, the need for frontcourt reinforcement is urgent if Memphis are to be able to tread water until he returns. And … it appears that Marreese Speights is that help.
Speights’ best offensive skill, his consistent two-point jump shot, instantly helps the Grizzlies’ poorly spaced offense, and somewhat offsets the loss of Randolph’s own fine jumper. Yet Speights is only going to help with Memphis’s frontcourt defense if he opts to play any. And this, frankly, has never been the case.
After a promising rookie campaign in which he demonstrated a mix of athleticism and scoring potency that is permanently hard to find in a 6-foot-10 player, Speights’ output has gone down consistently, coincident with his minutes, because his style of play is just too ill-disciplined. Philadelphia’s frustration with Speights’ shot-jacking, devil-may-care, defensively-listless and rebound-shy style of play has seen him go from being a highly promising young talent, to a man who has been DNP-CD’d for every single minute of the short season thus far. In spite of his athletic talents (and the potential that such athleticism defaults him), Speights has not improved, or begun to do the things that would see him come off the bench ahead of the remnants of Tony Battie. The Sixers, it seems, have given up trying to convince him.
Memphis have now traded their last four first round draft picks (Henry, Greivis Vasquez, Hasheem Thabeet and DeMarre Carroll), and tried their best to make it five with the multiple abortive attempts to trade O.J. Mayo to Indiana. Unable to compete on the free agent market, Memphis has had to build through the draft, and when that hasn’t worked out — perhaps due to letting go of most of their scouts — they have had to rely largely on reclamation projects. Indeed, ever since his Boston days and the forgettable Kedrick Brown saga, Chris Wallace has placed a high value on “athleticism,” perhaps using it as a synonym for “potential.” Speights fits all of those bills, and the trade is neither a bad strategy in general, nor a poor move in isolation. It also sees them acquire the services of a player who has proven he can contribute on an NBA court, for the cost only of a man who hasn’t. That can never be too bad.
It doesn’t, however, reassure us of anything. Randolph’s loss is immeasurably more impactful in the short term than that of any potential replacement, and with his contract expiring this summer, Speights’ long-term contributions to the team might not be too long-term either. Speights will now be given the opportunity to prove himself, to get plenty of playing time, to be in the rotation of a good team, and to realize the potential that he genuinely does have.
But he’s had that opportunity before, and didn’t take it. If he doesn’t this time, Memphis look headed for the lottery again.
July 6, 2010
Speights followed up his brilliant rookie season with a fairly similar sophomore season, which was slightly disappointing if not in itself a bad thing. He didn't really show much improvement on either end of the floor, particularly defensively, where his only impact remains the bad foul. Nevertheless, he's still good, and would have been starting were Philly not committed to flogging the dead horse that is Elton Brand.
June 27, 2010
How Philadelphia balance their roster from here is not immediately obvious. Even with this huge infusion of talent, the situation is a mess. Andre Iguodala has been used as their primary halfcourt creator over the last two seasons, but really isn't that good at it; unfortunately, he plays the same position as Turner. So do does Thaddeus Young, a man who would be an ideal backup combo forward in the role that Turk Nowitzki fits for Milwaukee (and that Jeff Green should do for Oklahoma City), but who has to share time there with equally effective backup Marreese Speights and the remains of Elton Brand, with whom the team are stuck. Bad trades have also seen the team stuck with Andres Nocioni and Jason Kapono as unnecessary small forward options; meanwhile, the only average guards are Jrue Holiday and Louis Williams, neither of whom are really point guards, but whom also cannot really play together. It's an unbalanced team further penalised by a bad salary situation, a lack of proper two guards, and a centre rotation of Spencer Hawes and Jason Smith that has all the defensive intensity of a playground punch-up.
They've caught an enormous break here, though.