After trading the likes of Marc Gasol and Mike Conley in the run-up to the season, the Grizzlies were expected to rebuild. However, standout campaigns from young stars Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks meant they qualified for the play-in tournament.
Following impressive victories over the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors, the Grizzlies’ young stars got their first taste of playoff action, and will look to make another run next year.
The recent trade involving Jonas Valancuinas allowed the Memphis Grizzlies to move up in the 2021 NBA draft, where they have the 10th and the 40th picks now. Several players from this draft class have been linked with the Memphis Grizzlies,
On that note, here's a look at three bold predictions for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2021 NBA off-season:
#1 The Memphis Grizzlies could move further up the draft
The Memphis Grizzlies have one of the most exciting young rosters in the league. As per rumors, they are looking to further improve on their draft picks/ The Grizzlies are interested in James Bouknight and Jonathan Kuminga as potential “move-up” trades in the 2021 NBA draft.
They have largely addressed their need for perimeter defenders, with their recent trade, getting rid of a big contract and a player who was not in the franchise’s long-term plans.
The Memphis Grizzlies have been rumored to use the recently acquired Eric Bledsoe and a few of their young players to get better picks in the 2021 NBA draft.
#2 Kyle Anderson could be moved on
The 27-year-old Kyle Anderson does not fit the timeline of the Memphis Grizzlies’ despite having a breakthrough season in which he averaged in double digits for the first time in his career. The Grizzlies are around $10 million above the salary cap, so trades for Bledsoe and Andersen could help them sort that out.
They are in a healthy position financially to go for a potential star or an established veteran via the free agency market and still not have to pay the luxury tax this year. Nevertheless, Kyle Anderson may not return to the roster for the upcoming season, especially due to his increased stock because of his exploits this season.
#3 The Memphis Grizzlies could keep hold of their key players
Apart from the moves discussed above, the Grizzlies could use a young player or a trade asset for an experienced campaigner. But the team is largely expected to keep most of their young stars.
Currently, Justice Winslow and Dillon Brooks are the only players who will earn more than $10 million this year. However, Steven Adamas and Eric Bledsoe also have comparable contracts.
Nevertheless, considering Winslow’s impact, the 24-year-old is expected to stay, which should not hinder the Memphis Grizzlies financially as they seek to further improve their roster in the off-season.