2019-20 NBA Team Preview Series: Memphis Grizzlies
Photo: Brandon Dill- AP
The 2019-2020 NBA season starts October 22nd and to get you ready for tip-off, Off the Glass is previewing all 30 teams. Today we look at the Memphis Grizzlies.
2018-19 record: 33-49; tied for last in the Southwest Division
Season Recap: The Grizzlies’ inevitable rebuild was put into full effect at the trade deadline, with Memphis dealing Marc Gasol to Toronto. A plethora of young talents were able to see the court frequently last season, but it was obvious that measures needed to be taken to get Memphis back on the right track. The organization had one of the worst records in the NBA; although they missed the playoffs, they landed the second overall pick in the draft lottery.
Key Losses: Mike Conley (trade), Avery Bradley (FA), Justin Holiday (FA), Jevon Carter (trade), Chandler Parsons (trade), Delon Wright (FA)
Key Additions: Ja Morant (draft), Brandon Clarke (draft), Tyus Jones (FA), Solomon Hill (trade), Jae Crowder (trade), Andre Iguodala (trade), Grayson Allen (trade)
Preview: Expectations are not necessarily high for new head coach Taylor Jenkins’ squad this season, but there is reason for excitement. Memphis got their franchise point guard in Ja Morant while also drafting a solid rotational player for years to come in Brandon Clarke. The Grizzlies added a handful of veterans for guidance and to stay competitive, but the organization has taken a big step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the results may still be a little ways away.
Player to Watch: Ja Morant
X-Factor: Player progression
Worst-Case Scenario: Morant struggles to adapt to the professional style of play and Jaren Jackson Jr shows little to no signs of improvement. The ton of role players with no stars struggle to win games and the young prospects don’t bring excitement.
Best-Case Scenario: Morant wins Rookie of the Year, while Clarke proves himself to be a valuable piece asset on both sides of the court. Jackson Jr further develops his offensive identity and enhances his feel for the game; young prospects like Dillon Brooks and Josh Jackson both take steps forward, respectively, in their progressions.
2019-20 Prediction: 30-52; last in the Southwest Division