It is a minor miracle Memphis prevented the bottom two areas in our rankings.
Despite having lottery talent, this team could become uncomfortably close to the luxury tax next year –the last on Chandler Parsons’ onerous deal. What’s worse, this particular group has an outgoing first-rounder hanging on its head. While the selection owed to the Boston Celtics has top-eight protection this season and top-six policy the next, it is going to be unprotected in 2021 in case it has not already conveyed.
Who is to say the Grizzlies will not be dreadful in 2020-21?
However, Memphis has at least uncovered a franchise anchor in 19-year-old Jaren Jackson Jr., who is almost solely responsible for this ranking. The toughest task in rebuilding is adding stars, but the Grizzlies currently 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 creation for an NBA freshman.
It might help if Jackson had more high-ceiling talent , but possibly Memphis could create a route to some this offseason. After shipping out Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies could cut the cable on the grit-and-grind era for great with a trade of Mike Conley, whose title bounced around a lot near the trade deadline.
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