- Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. ET (Home)
- Wednesday, Apr. 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET (Away)
The Memphis Grizzlies have hope. Yes, they had it for years and not too long ago, with the “Grit-and-Grind” teams that made the postseason. Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph were stalwarts. Tony Allen even played a significant part.
Entering 2019-20, that is no longer the case after Conley left for Utah via trade and Gasol won a title with the Raptors. Allen and Randolph both previously departed.
Now, it is Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant leading the Grizzlies into the future. Both are young players capable of becoming that dynamic duo in the frontcourt and backcourt, respectively. Their scoring and defensive abilities are intriguing, but they need time to develop and the roster around them is hardly complete for a competitive run.
Beyond Jackson and Morant, this roster is loaded with youth, with Andre Iguodala, who is not guaranteed to be part of this team to open the season, the only player older than 30 years old. Jones Valanciunas, Jae Crowder and Kyle Anderson are interesting players, but not the ones to take this team forward in a deep Western Conference.
However, do not sleep on Brandon Clarke. The Gonzaga product had a dominant summer league after a stellar NCAA Tournament. Memphis may have found a diamond in the rough, with the potential to make a case to join Jackson and Morant in the “players of the future” conversation.
This is a team that has development ahead, but also a bright future. They are scattered with interesting pieces, similar to the New York Knicks, who need time and can become long-term NBA talents. It just will take a few years of struggles.