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Season Record: 33-49 , 12th in the Western Conference
Head Coach: JB Bickerstaff
Most Frequent Starting Five (37 Games): (G) Mike Conley – (G) Garrett Temple – (F) Kyle Anderson – (F) Jaren Jackson – (C) Marc Gasol
17 July 2018 – Traded (C) Deyonta Davis, (G) Ben McLemore, cash and a 2021 second-round draft pick to the Sacramento Kings for (G) Garrett Temple.
3 January 2019 – Traded (G) MarShon Brooks, (G) Wayne Selden, a 2019 second-round draft pick and a 2020 second-round draft pick to the Chicago Bulls for (G) Justin Holiday.
7 February 2019 – Traded (F) JaMychal Green and (G) Garrett Temple to the Los Angeles Clippers for (G) Avery Bradley. Traded (C) Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors for (F) C.J. Miles, (C) Jonas Valančiūnas, (G) Delon Wright and a 2024 second-round draft pick. Traded (G) Shelvin Mack to the Atlanta Hawks for (G) Tyler Dorsey.
11 April 2019 – Fired JB Bickerstaff as Head Coach.
11 June 2019 – Hired Taylor Jenkins as Head Coach.
Some Good Luck
— Michael Wallace (@MyMikeCheck) May 15, 2019
The Memphis Grizzlies failed to be relevant by the end of the season. However, the new weighted lottery system went in their favor during the NBA Draft lottery.
With that, the Grizzlies were able to select exciting point guard Ja Morant to lead their side.
Reinforcements from The North
Jonas Valanciunas has averaged a double double since being traded to Memphis.
— Grind City Media (@grindcitymedia) April 9, 2019
Founded in 1995, the Grizzlies can’t seem to shake their expansion partner the Toronto Raptors.
Memphis hired former Raptors assistant Jerry Stackhouse and acquired former Raptors CJ Miles, Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, and Bruno Caboclo at different points in the season.
All of those players impressed with Memphis, none more than Jonas Valanciunas who looks to factor in as a franchise centerpiece.
The End of an Era
Franchise leader in points, rebounds, blocks, and field goals
Top 2 player in franchise history (arguably 1st), 3x all star, 2X all NBA, DPOY
Gave everything to Memphis for 11 years, Thankyou Marc Gasol ?? pic.twitter.com/0b7JkFbtrf
— NBA All Access (@nballaccess) February 7, 2019
The Memphis Grizzlies were once famed as the NBA’s toughest team. Hard-nosed and incapable of surrender, the grit-n-grind Grizzlies were a force to be reckoned with.
Franchise staples Zach Randolph and Tony Allen are now out of the league, while the Grizzlies said goodbye to Marc Gasol via trade and Mike Conley at the end of the season.
A new wave of cubs is here to fill the void, but they have absolutely massive shoes to fill.
— NBA (@NBA) July 15, 2018
Jaren Jackson Jr looks to be an excellent big man to pair with Jonas Valanciunas in the frontcourt.
After exciting fans for more than half the season, Jackson Jr was shut down for the year after suffering a deep thigh bruise.
With his season cut short, Jackson has a lot to make up for in the coming year.
Front Office Shenanigans
The Memphis Grizzlies made one of the most surprising moves in the NBA last year and it had nothing to do with their players.
General Manager Chris Wallace was reduced to a scouting role and in his place ownership hired three attorneys to manage their front office affairs.
While changes were certainly made, there is now a severe disconnect in management and players that should play out interestingly in the future.
The Memphis Grizzlies found themselves in a rather uncomfortable position, finishing the season with a losing record.
They were, however, lucky to land the second overall pick, moving up from eighth during the pre-lottery odds.
With one first-round selection, the Grizzlies selected an immediately impactful player and traded for another.
JA MORANT SHOWING OFF INSANE BOUNCE ?
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 15, 2019
The self-proclaimed “Point God” Ja Morant has some big shoes to fill left by the departed Mike Conley.
Morant follows in the footsteps of fellow small-school stand-outs like Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, who have lit up the NBA despite a modest NCAA college.
Morant has all it takes to be a star now. Lightning-quick, excellent size, and perfect offensive and defensive skills, Morant could be the best player of his class.
Brandon Clarke has bounce ? pic.twitter.com/Lg7iUvajGQ
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) October 15, 2019
With rebuilding on the mind, the Grizzlies were able to trade for a player who fits their grit-n-grind mentality.
The Canadian is a grinder, to say the least. Excelling as an energy option on the court, who battles on both boards in order to secure possessions for his team.
Clarke doesn’t have any discernible offensive skillset, but his effort has won the Grizzlies and many over. Leading his team to the NBA Summer League Championship and being named MVP of the tournament.
Both Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke look to impact the Memphis Grizzlies immediately.
At the moment, Morant is expected to already be the teams starting point guard with the departure of Mike Conley.
For Clarke, he will have to prove his efficiency can continue in the NBA despite being outmatched physically.
Over his final 7 games Tyus Jones had 57 assists & 3 turnovers.
His season-ending assist-to-turnover ratio of 6.96 is a franchise-record & the highest mark in the NBA since turnovers became official in ’77/’78. pic.twitter.com/ZF579HGiah
— Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) April 11, 2019
The acquisition of Jones wouldn’t be so criticized were the Grizzlies not given the option to match the contract of Delon Wright.
Jones is a small but steady point guard who showed excellent distribution ability with the Timberwolves.
He doesn’t bring near the same versatility as Wright, but he is certainly an adept backup point guard.
Grayson Allen denies the transition dunk attempt! #NBASummer
?: ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/GwYHt8fVYT
— NBA (@NBA) July 14, 2019
Allen is surely more known for his juvenile behavior on the court than his contributions to it.
Still, just a sophomore player, Allen has a new season to prove that he is a player worth investing time and effort into.
A capable slasher, Allen needs to show he has the shooting ability and defensive intelligence to be a valuable role player.
Really nice touch pass from Jaren to Jae Crowder. Grizzlies are doing some fun stuff pic.twitter.com/iyAr37jCp4
— Omari Sankofa II (@omarisankofa) October 9, 2019
Crowder is yet to live up to his 2015-2017 run with the Boston Celtics that earned him a $35 million contract.
While his production is down, he still competes intensely on the defensive end and can keep defenses honest with his jumper.
— SNGLV Gaming (@SnglvGaming) October 15, 2019
The Phoenix Suns turned the page on the Josh Jackson era and the Memphis Grizzlies will take their turn at developing him.
The former fourth overall pick in 2017 still hasn’t learned to shoot the ball, but his elite athleticism is still on display.
Head coach Taylor Jenkins will hope to channel his athletic energy into defensive intensity and offensive focus.
— Grind City Media (@grindcitymedia) September 30, 2019
Melton is coming off of an intriguing rookie campaign with the Phoenix Suns.
While he didn’t set the league ablaze, he was steady and reliable in his limited appearances.
Despite only turning 21 and entering his sophomore campaign, Melton’s playmaking and defensive ability are more than enough for Memphis to try and develop.
Don’t expect to see Andre Iguodala in a Memphis jersey anytime soon.
Going on 36 years old, the former Finals MVP has made it clear he intends to chase a ring with a contender rather than sit on the bench with a developing team.
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) July 7, 2019
Solomon Hill was once a notable three-and-d option for the Indiana Pacers. Unfortunately, injury issues have limited his contributions.
With capable big men in the paint, Hill may be able to recover the production that endeared him to a $48 million contract.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) February 8, 2017
Plumlee adds emergency depth to the Grizzlies’ center position.
While Memphis is experimenting with Bruno Caboclo at the five, Plumlee is still a legit 6’11 with length and rebounding ability.
|Point Guard||Shooting Guard||Small Forward||Power Forward||Center|
|Ja Morant||Dillon Brooks||Kyle Anderson||Jaren Jackson Jr.||Jonas Valanciunas|
|Tyus Jones||Grayson Allen||Jae Crowder||Brandon Clarke||Bruno Caboclo|
|De’Anthony Melton||Marko Guduric||Josh Jackson||Solomon Hill||Miles Plumlee|
|Dusty Hannahs||John Konchar||*Andre Iguodala||Yuta Watanabe||Ivan Rabb|
*(G-F) Andre Iguodala is not expected to join the Grizzlies this season. The team has come to a mutual separation until a deal can be made.
The Memphis Grizzlies are in a rebuilding phase. They will not be challenging for the playoffs this season, but their talent is certainly intriguing.
Expect the Grizzlies to finish near the bottom of their conference and division, considering the talent disparity between them and the top eight.
It will be a high-pressure season for Ja Morant, who has spoken like a star, projects to be one, but is yet to show his qualities on the biggest stage.
The Memphis Grizzlies’ future odds in regular-season win totals are bleak.
They project an over/under of 26.5 wins on the season. Inexperience will likely be their downfall.
The Memphis Grizzlies project to be one of the bottom two teams in the Western Conference.
While they could surprise, future bets and odds are on them to be one of the worst in the West.
As is the trend so far, the Grizzlies don’t look to be a contender in the Western Conference.
Completely outmatched at the top of the West, the Grizzlies are at the bottom of the NBA in odds to win the NBA Championship.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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