The Grizzlies‘ season came to an end on Wednesday night in Utah, as a 126-110 Jazz victory completed the first-round series in five games. However, the young squad was encouraged by having made the playoffs this season and is looking forward to continuing to make strides this summer, as Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal writes.
“The taste of the playoffs is on everybody’s mind and this offseason’s got to be a special offseason for every single one of my teammates,” Dillon Brooks said after Wednesday’s loss.
While much of the roster is under contract for 2021/22, Barnes suggests it won’t necessarily be a quiet few months in Memphis, since the team will want to add more shooting and more reliable bench scoring. Still, there’s a solid foundation in place to build upon, led by rising star Ja Morant.
“Now, we just need to grow,” said center Jonas Valanciunas, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe. “We have the right people — good people. It’s not going to happen overnight. But we are headed in the right direction.”
Here’s more on the Grizzlies:
- Jaren Jackson Jr. appears to be the Grizzlies’ “biggest swing player,” Lowe writes within his deep dive into the situation in Memphis. If Jackson, who is extension-eligible this offseason, becomes an All-Star caliber player, it would increase the team’s ceiling significantly. But if he ends up being just a quality rotation piece, the path to contention would be much more difficult.
- Josh Robbins of The Athletic and Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) each preview the Grizzlies’ offseason, with Robbins reiterating the importance of adding outside shooting, while Marks takes a look at Jackson’s case for an extension and the looming decision on Justise Winslow‘s team option.
- If the Grizzlies are going to acquire an impact player, it will almost certainly have to happen via trade, John Hollinger of The Athletic writes. The former Grizzlies executive points out that the team has a surplus of options at shooting guard and power forward and says the front office shouldn’t be afraid of giving up young players and draft picks if a good opportunity arises.