Photo Credit: Clutch Sports
We continue with the bottom of the Western Conference with a look at the Memphis Grizzlies. To look at the Eastern Conference go to the NBA page, click here to look at the previous team Pheonix Suns.
The Grizzlies decided it was time to blow up the roster and start over this offseason. After moving Marc Gasol at the deadline, the team also made the decision to move franchise point guard Mike Conley to Utah. The team added Ja Morant in the draft, who looks to be the leader of the new-look Grizzlies with Jaren Jackson giving them a good pick and roll combination. They also went and added Brandon Clarke in the draft, who has the potential to be a very good modern-day big to pair with Jaren who is not the best rebounder. Jaren and Clarke could create havoc on the defensive end blocking shots. The Grizzlies also brought in Jonas Valenciunas to help mentor these young bigs. A very underrated signing was Tyus Jones. I think Tyus Jones has become one of the most underrated players in the NBA. He will help give that team some grit and veteran leadership as well. After that, the Grizzlies choose to take on contracts to also add some future draft picks. Players like Andre Iguodala brought them a 1st round pick and potentially will get released later in the season. Josh Jackson brought in some 2nds. Overall the team spent a lot of time building for the future and did a great job doing it.
G: Ja Morant
G: Tyus Jones
F: Jae Crowder
F: Jaren Jackson Jr
C: Jonas Valenciunas
Bench: Brandon Clarke, Andre Iggy, Josh Jackson, Grayson Allen, Dillion Brooks, Kyle Anderson.
The Grizzlies have no true shooting guard, so, for now, I have them playing 2 ball-handlers. This is likely not the final starting lineup for the Grizzlies, but Tyus is a great player and might be a good fit around these young players. Overall the lineup has a good mix of defense and offense, veterans and youth. This roster is built very well, it just does not have the talent to stack up against the West right now.
Prediction: 27-55 (14th in West) / Miss the Playoffs.
This is how good the west is. I think this team is similar to the young Hawks and the impressive rebuild they are doing that I think could land them in the 8 seed next season. Since the Grizzlies are in the west, their schedule is brutal and with a young team, they might go through a rough patch in those winter months.
This team did exactly what a team in their situation should do. Get young talent and put them around gritty veterans (Crowder and Jonas) to build a culture. This team will avoid the issues that have plagued the Suns or Twolves, and continue to develop the young players. Add in another top pick next year. Maybe an SG like Anthony Edwards could give them the boost needed. Memphis is not a big market that will lure Free Agents, this team will need to continue to build through the draft and sign role players that fit the roster. It was a good start, but now they have to keep that up.
*Everything in this article was discussed with Louie Snyder