Why Juan Hernangomez will never suit up for the Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies

Juancho Hernangomez, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies have been the most active NBA team in this year’s trade market. For the most part, the core unit on the roster has remained intact, with Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, and Jaren Jackson Jr. all remaining on the team.

We did, however, see Jonas Valanciunas involved in a trade that sent him to the New Orleans Pelicans. This brought Steven Adams to Memphis and eventually opened the door for the Grizzlies to draft Ziaire Williams, a one-and-done player out of Stanford.

A few trades later and the Memphis Grizzlies are all the way up to 17 rostered players, two over the league limit. This is even after small attempts to trim the roster. That said, with more players than the league allows, a couple of guys won’t be on the team at the beginning of the 2021-22 season. Who will those players be?

Memphis Grizzlies F Juancho Hernangomez is the most obvious candidate for a few reasons

For starters, Juan Hernangomez doesn’t really have a place on the Grizzlies. He’s too good for Memphis to ignore but not good enough to crack an already-packed Memphis forward rotation. He’d have to find room between Brandon Clarke, Xavier Tillman, and Jaren Jackson Jr., all of whom are staples for this team’s future.

That’s not even the primary issue though. The main reason why Hernangomez will not suit up for the Grizzlies this season is much simpler, though it hasn’t received much publicity.

Hernangomez was never asked to report to the Grizzlies or get a physical, according to Bobby Marks, an NBA Front Office Insider. Here’s his tweet, where Hernangomez was somewhat of an afterthought to Rajon Rondo.

Generally speaking, players who are expected to play with the team that they’ve been traded to will get a physical immediately so that they can practice with the team. And in order to practice with the team, they have to report to the team in the first place. Juan Hernangomez was not asked to do either of those things.

Notably, Rajon Rondo, who was brought to Memphis from the Los Angeles Clippers in the Eric Bledsoe deal, was also not asked to report to the team or take a physical.

It’s hard to speak with such certainty over something that we are not informed about, but this is as much evidence as you can get that the Memphis Grizzlies are, at the very least, not planning on having the Spanish forward on their roster in the upcoming season.

As things stand, Hernangomez is the first Grizzly who should be considered on the trade block.