Justise Winslow’s future remains unclear with the Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies

Justise Winslow, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Generally speaking, the Memphis Grizzlies are one of few teams in the NBA with roster security as they head toward the 2021-22 season.

The primary players on this team are all on contract for at least another season, most of whom will likely be extended by the Grizz as soon as they are eligible. Those players include Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Dillon Brooks, and a few others.

Beyond the main corps of this team though, you’ll find a small list of guys who don’t quite fit into the squad as well. And this all starts with a player who hasn’t fit in very well with any team that he has been a part of.

Memphis Grizzlies F Justise Winslow has an unpredictable future on Beale Street

When you’re looking at players on the Memphis Grizzlies’ roster with unpredictable futures, the first that will come to mind is Justise Winslow, a player who doesn’t have an extensive past with the Grizz.

Winslow came via trade in last year’s offseason and wouldn’t end up seeing the court until midway through the 2020-21 season. After a few games, he seemed happy with Memphis, referring to his trade to the Grizzlies as one of the best things that has happened in his life, on or off of the court.

But after that quote, Winslow slowly disappeared into the Grizzlies’ bench, exiting the rotation entirely by the time the NBA Playoffs rolled around.

What started as early rust for the point forward quickly turned into an offensive game that would never develop. By the end of the season, Winslow’s numbers had dropped all-around, as he saw career lows in everything from points per game to shooting percentages. Here’s what his numbers looked like in 2020-21:

  • 6.8 PPG
  • 4.5 RPG
  • 1.9 APG
  • 35.2% FG
  • 18.5% 3PT FG

Player Efficiency Rating has to be taken with a grain of salt at times, but his PER finished in the bottom 10 of the NBA this season at 6.29. That’s the bottom ten out of over 370 NBA players. In other words, not good.

There’s no way around it — Winslow was a bad NBA player this season. It’s hard to see a world where the Memphis Grizzlies give any effort to retain him, so what does this mean for his future in the NBA?

Right now, Winslow is on contract to earn $13 million on a team option in 2021. This, in all likelihood, will be declined by Zach Kleiman and the Grizzlies’ front office. That said, if Memphis doesn’t find a more suitable player to bring in, they may retain him for trade value. This seems less likely but in the realm of possibilities.

Even more likely, the Grizzlies may choose to reject his team option and resign him to a smaller deal.

All of this leads you to a single point — Justise Winslow’s future with the Memphis Grizzlies remains unclear.