The Memphis Grizzlies got off to a hot start to the season and looked to be a genuine threat to reach the playoffs in the West behind one of the best defenses in the NBA.
However, things have gone off the rails in Memphis over the last two months and they’ve gone 4-19 over their last 23 games to plummet to the 14th spot in the West. Each loss makes it that much more likely that the lottery is their future for a second straight year, and as such a rebuild has to at least be considered from the Grizzlies’ brass.
Memphis has held out hope for the past few years that so long as they have Mike Conley and Marc Gasol healthy, they’ll be fine. Last year Conley’s injury sent them into a spiral they never came out of, but they hoped a one-year tank job to get Jaren Jackson Jr. and some savvy free agent signings could let them bounce back into the playoff race. Now, it appears reality has set in and the last remnants of the Grit N’ Grind era may be headed out the door in the near future for a legitimate, future-facing rebuild.
Rumors that Marc Gasol could be moved began earlier in the month, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski the team is now at least listening to offers for Gasol and Conley for the first time.
It’s not exactly a shocker, but it does represent what may be the official end of an era in Memphis. Gasol and Conley have been pillars of consistency for one of the league’s most consistent teams, but the Grizzlies haven’t been able to surround them with the talent to keep up with the changing NBA these last two years and now it appears its time for a new direction.
Listening to offers is a long way away from actually making a trade, and it will get complicated given both of their contracts. Still, there will be interest and if nothing else this indicates Memphis is resigned to their fate this year and will consider reshaping the roster dramatically over the next year.