Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Hunt, Mavericks, Hardaway

Beyond an obviously forthcoming contract extension for All-NBA Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant, Memphis will have to make several key offseason decisions.

Evan Barnes, Mark Giannotto, and Damichael Cole of Memphis Commercial Appeal take a look at what they consider to be the four key questions facing the Grizzlies: The fate of Dillon Brooks, whether or not the team should retain both its two first-round draft picks, whether or not big man Brandon Clarke will receive a contract extension of his own, and the futures of free agents Kyle Anderson and Tyus Jones.

The Grizzlies’ rebuild began to bear fruit in a major way during the 2021/22 NBA season. Morant won Most Improved Player and made his first All-Star and All-NBA teams, while the 56-26 Grizzlies earned the second seed in the West and won their first playoff series since the 2014/15 season.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Melvin Hunt, most recently an assistant coach for the Hawks during the 2020/21 season, may return to the Rockets as an assistant next year, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link). Hunt was previously a scout and assistant coach for Houston from 1999-2004.
  • The Mavericks are currently trailing the Warriors 3-0 in the Western Conference Finals, a deficit that no club in NBA playoff history has ever overcome. Though the odds are fairly steep for Dallas to buck that trend, the club clearly has established a system that seems primed for future success, writes Rob Mahoney of The Ringer. Mahoney observes that the Mavericks have opted to surround All-Star point guard Luka Doncic with shooters and defenders, a formula that has helped them make their first Western Conference Finals appearance in 11 years. The Mavericks play a must-win Game 4 at home tonight.
  • Injured Mavericks wing Tim Hardaway Jr. will consult team doctors this evening, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Provided that club doctors are satisfied with Hardaway’s continued recovery from a left foot fracture that required surgery, he’ll take the next step in his rehabilitation tomorrow, adding new non-contact workout elements to his routine, per Townsend.
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