Grizzlies Notes: Gasol, Wallace, Future

After getting off to a 15-9 start this season, the Grizzlies have lost 16 of their last 20 games and have slipped all the way to 14th in the Western Conference, leading to speculation that the team might consider trading longtime center Marc Gasol.

While Gasol didn’t have much to say about those rumors this week, he was a little more forthcoming when asked about the direction and future of the Grizzlies, And, as Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal details, the veteran big man sounded uncertain about what’s next in Memphis.

“I don’t think we know exactly where the future is headed right now,” Gasol said. “Obviously, you’re a player, so you need to play and you need to win games. You cannot get caught up in what’s the future of the franchise. What are they going to do? What’s this guy going to do? You can’t do that because then you forget about what’s the most important thing to do and even though no player likes to be in that situation, you have to deal with it. It’s the way it goes. It’s just the nature of the beast. There’s nothing you can do.”

Within his column, Giannotto argues that the Grizzlies shouldn’t trade Gasol at this season’s deadline, since that sort of franchise-altering decision should be made by the general manager who will be overseeing the club for the next several years. Giannotto is unconvinced that Chris Wallace should be that GM — in Giannotto’s view, Wallace’s group “bungled the transition away from the Core Four” and has exacerbated Memphis’ issues by “whiffing on and needlessly trading away draft picks.”

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian took an informative, in-depth look at the Gasol question looming over the franchise, breaking down the pros and cons for moving the center and exploring what sort of return the team could expect in a trade.
  • Despite the Grizzlies’ slump, head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said this week that there has been “no sign of punting” on the 2018/19 season, per David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “There’s been no sign from the front office saying we’re not committed to trying to win basketball games,” Bickerstaff said. The Grizzlies’ coach added that “nothing is off the table” when it comes to experimenting with different lineup combinations to try to kick-start the club.
  • Matt John of Basketball Insiders explains why it may be more difficult than it seems for the Grizzlies to launch a rebuild.
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