The Memphis Grizzlies are on a mission to show that you can win in the NBA with a more focused approach.
The life of a small market franchise can go one of two ways in the NBA. Fans in places like Indiana, Portland, and Sacramento can wait for years for their hometown teams to deliver a deep playoff run.
The Memphis Grizzlies seek to defy the order of the NBA as they sit at 31-13 in the Southwest Division. Their approach to basketball at all levels feels like an attack on the established NBA system. The Grizzlies chose to build around player development & scouting, and that approach has paid off doubly in the last five years.
The Grizzlies just won their 11th straight game off of a Steven Adams tip-in as they head into Los Angeles tonight. What an opportunity for the small market Grizzlies to take on one of the Goliaths of the game in LeBron James & the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ja Morant’s Best Statistical Season
Everything in Memphis revolves around Ja Morant. His highlights are a nightly feature in everyone’s sports content streams. Memphis fans can hardly believe their luck that they found another franchise player so quickly after departing from the Grit & Grind era with Zach Randolph and Tony Allen. Morant is it.
His ceiling as a player is a daily discussion topic. We all see the jaw-dropping highlights, but the statistics show it too. Morant is on pace to set new highs in multiple offensive categories. The energy it requires to guard Morant opens the door for other Grizzlies to get open shots or take advantage of poor help defense.
Over the years, the Grizzlies’ success at finding players in the draft has allowed them to build a roster of complementary players.
The Grizzlies are the standard in terms of draft success. Over four successive drafts, they accumulated the players that make up their emerging core: Jaren Jackson Jr., Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Ziare Williams.
What makes their approach compelling is the value that they find. Morant & Jackson Jr. were lottery picks. The rest of their roster has players from the double-digit rounds. Dillon Brooks was the 45th pick in the draft. Desmond Bane was the 30th pick in the draft.
The Grizzlies have also accumulated significant draft capital from trades over the last few years. They have two firsts in the 2024 NBA draft, one of which is Top-4 protected from the Warriors. The Grizzlies have many options for building their team from now on.
They can choose to spend some of their draft capital to acquire a true free-agent superstar to pair alongside Morant or continue to draft undervalued players and use their development system to produce new players to pair with Morant. The future is bright in Memphis.
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