How do the new-look Memphis Grizzlies stack up against the rest of the NBA?

Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images /
Memphis Grizzlies
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images /

With the Caesars Palace wins projections for the 2019-2020 NBA season projecting the Memphis Grizzlies to 25.5 games, the Grizzlies have a chance to greatly surpass their expectations

With the annual wins projections coming out recently, Vegas expects the Grizzlies to only win a meager 25.5 games I can’t help but think this is on the relative low end of a team as talented as the 2019-2020 iteration of the Memphis Grizzlies. There are a lot of things to be excited for as a Grizzlies fan for the upcoming season: Brandon Clarke having an outstanding summer league, taking home MVP honors and leading the Grizzlies to their first summer league title, Ja Morant joining the team via the NBA draft, and the numerous trades and acquisitions the new front office made thus far in the offseason. While a playoff berth seems unlikely, that was never the focus coming into the upcoming season. The 2019-2020 season is all about the development of the crop of young talent on this team, namely Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr, and Brandon Clarke.

When I saw that Caesars Palace only had the Grizzlies win projection set at 25.5, I couldn’t help but think it was selling this team short. I fully expect Ja Morant to be the playmaking wizard he has been advertised to be, Jaren Jackson Jr taking the next step in his development, and Brandon Clarke to be the super-sub Kyle Kuzma was early on his NBA career. I’d be remise if I didn’t mention the free agent acquisition of Jonas Valanciunas, who is a reliable low-post threat and an anchor on the defensive end, a bounce back year for Kyle Anderson, who was woefully miscast last season and should be much better in 2019-2020. 25.5 wins seems to sell the potential of this team short. The Grizzlies find themselves in a very similar situation now as the Lakers were in 2017-2018. The Lakers the year prior won 26 games en route to the #2 pick, Lonzo Ball, and the 27th pick in Kyle Kuzma. The season immediately following those selections, they went on to win 35 games. The Grizzlies in 2018-19 went 33-49, also en route to the #2 pick, the aforementioned Ja Morant, and 21st pick in the also aforementioned Brandon Clarke. Clarke seems to be on the verge of a big rookie season, similar to the rookie season had by Kuzma, and if Ja can match Lonzo Ball’s rookie stats (I am nearly certain he will surpass Lonzo’s stats) I don’t believe its out of the realm of possibility to see the Grizzlies reach the mid 30’s in wins next season.