It is a minor miracle Memphis avoided the bottom two areas in our rankings.
Despite having lottery ability, this group could become uncomfortably near the luxury tax next year –the past on Chandler Parsons’ onerous thing. What is worse, this group has an outgoing first-rounder hanging on its head. While the pick owed to the Boston Celtics has top-eight security this season and top-six policy the next, it’ll be unprotected in 2021 if it has not already conveyed.
Who is to say the Grizzlies won’t be terrible in 2020-21?
But Memphis has at least uncovered a franchise anchor in 19-year-old Jaren Jackson Jr., who’s almost solely responsible for this particular standing. The toughest task in rebuilding is adding stars, but the Grizzlies already seem to have found one. Jackson’s per-36-minute averages include 19.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.2 triples and 1.2 steals; that’s unprecedented production for an NBA freshman.
It might help if Jackson had more high-ceiling talent around him, but possibly Memphis could make a path to some this offseason. After sending out Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies could cut the cord on the grit-and-grind era for great with a commerce of Mike Conley, whose title bounced around a lot near the trade deadline.