The Memphis Grizzlies had one of the most unexpected seasons in the NBA this year. Without one of their key pieces, they managed to put themselves into a position that allowed them to earn an NBA Playoff spot via the play-in tournament.
How did they do this?
There are a lot of reasons, but primarily, the Grizzlies have extremely strong talent from top-to-bottom. To give some perspective to this, Brandon Clarke, one of the best rookies in the league last season, sat on the bench for virtually the entire finish to the 2020-21 season. He didn’t do anything poorly, there was just too much talent in his way, most of which was drafted by the Grizz.
There are plenty of people who have contributed to the Grizzlies’ ability to draft well, but most notably, General Manager Zach Kleiman has stood out as a rising star among front offices in the NBA.
Most notably, Kleiman was heavily involved in the Conley and Gasol trades, the signing of Taylor Jenkins, and the drafting of Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr.
The Memphis Grizzlies gave their young superstar GM Zach Kleiman an extension on Thursday
The Grizzlies’ general manager has been doing such a strong job that the Memphis Grizzlies decided to extend his contract. Specific details have not been released yet, but this is great news for a franchise that is still in the middle of a rebuild.
Kleiman has separated himself as one of the best in the game, and if not for this extension, he may have been poached by another team. He is also the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Grizzlies.
Clearly, whatever it is that Kleiman is doing in the Grizzlies’ front office is working. It seems like Memphis can do no wrong in the NBA Draft, as every single player acquired by the young general manager has panned out extremely well up until this point.
Take a look at 2021 as an example, where the Grizzlies selected Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman, two rookies who could easily be considered top ten in their class despite being drafted in the late first round and early second round.
While Ja Morant is the star of this team, Kleiman is the star of the front office. It looks like Kleiman is buckling down to try and win the Grizzlies an NBA Championship, so look forward to more great moves from the young executive who is only 33 years old.