The young and hungry Grizzlies team made the playoffs as the 8th-seed by beating the Warriors in a thriller. They may not make it out of the first round this postseason, but that isn’t something to fret on as the future is bright. With that said, the Grizzlies offseason 2021 will be focused on player development.
Grizzlies offseason preview 2021
Memphis is still a small market team. It will be tough to attract big free agents in the upcoming offseason, and possibly next season. Their best bet is to bank on their plethora of young players. The Grizzlies offseason is definitely player-focused.
Let’s take a look at the things the Grizzlies should accomplish this offseason:
Develop Morant’s outside game
Ja Morant is a future star. Period. After a slow start this season with an ankle injury, Morant turned it up a notch. We witnessed what he’s capable of when he went head-to-head with Stephen Curry. His crazy athleticism and explosiveness gave us flashes of a young Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose.
In the offseason, the Grizzlies should focus on developing Morant’s outside game. He’s still shooting a career 31% from three, which isn’t great for a guard. We don’t want to see him turn out to become another John Wall.
Once he finally cracks the code on 3-point shooting, he won’t rely heavily on his athleticism anymore. This also makes him less injury-prone.
Work on Brooks’ consistency
Dillon Brooks is fun to watch on the defensive side. He’s not afraid to guard the opponent’s best perimeter player. Sometimes, he even guards bigger players than him. Sure, he gets beat up from time to time but every great defender experiences it.
While the defense is there, the problem is his offensive consistency and shot selection. Brooks is averaging over 15 shot attempts while shooting 41% on the field. There are nights when he goes single digits and nights when he’s dropping 30 points. For Grizzlies fans, it’s definitely frustrating.
In the offseason, Brooks should continue developing his offensive game and improve his shot selection. If he cracks it, he will become one of the best 2-way players in the league.
Regain Jackson Jr.’s confidence
He lost a big ton of confidence. And not being on the court for most of the time played a big factor in it.
Since his rookie season, he has been plagued by different injuries, particularly in his lower body. The 7-ft unicorn has a lot of potential but it remains to be seen whether or not we can see him play a full regular season.
Thus, the Grizzlies offseason should focus on his health. This involves lots of strength training and conditioning. He’s still 21 years old and the best is yet to come.
Determine Winslow’s future with the team
Like Jackson Jr., Justise Winslow has been bitten by the injury bug ever since his Miami days. When healthy, he hasn’t also contributed that much on the floor. This season, his stats are 44% field goal percentage, 35% from three, and 57% free throw shooting—all below averages for a wing.
The question is: what should the Grizzlies do with his expiring $13 million contract? Should they trade him for a player who fits the system? Or should they give him one more season?
Add reliable veterans
The Grizzlies were the youngest team to make the playoffs since the Thunder in 2010. Being one of the youngest teams in the league, they are surely passionate and hungry. However, they need to have additional veterans who and can lead and patch them together—like Jae Crowder.