It’s time for the Grizzlies to go all in for a Finals run

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins-Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins-Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Grizzlies have built up a strong core of young players over the past few years. Is it time to go for it all by being aggressive at the trade deadline?

The Grizzlies finally broke their five-game losing streak Sunday night, defeating the Pacers 112-100. It was a much-needed win to close out the month of January, but as February begins this team still has many questions to answer. Can they regain the form they had when they ran off 11 straight wins? Can they overcome even more injuries? Can they improve their perimeter shooting?

All of these questions will be answered down the stretch of the season, but one question needs an answer in just a week: is it time for the Grizzlies to make a big move at the trade deadline? It’s a question most contending teams have to answer each season, but the Grizzlies have largely avoided making any in-season moves the past few years.

They have focused almost entirely on drafting and developing a core of young talent, and it’s worked. They tied a franchise record with 56 wins last year and were on an even better pace this year prior to their recent losing streak. Despite the success, the Grizzlies are still looking to make their first NBA Finals appearance in team history. For that to happen, it may require them to finally take a big swing.

It’s time for the Grizzlies to take a risk

The Grizzlies may be young and talented, but it takes more than that to win a championship. They do have true veterans like Steven Adams and Danny Green, but their most important players are all 27 or younger. That youth is likely what has kept the front office from making any major additions aside from Adams over the past few years. They want the chance for all of their young talents to blossom together into a contender.

That started to happen last year when they won their first playoff series since the 2014/15 season, defeating the Timberwolves 4-2. They would fall to the eventual-champion Warriors in the next round, but it was a good first step. With just a few more additions, they could be in true title contention. That brings us to today, and those additions haven’t happened.

The players clearly think they are ready for a championship run, but the front office isn’t acting like it. Maybe they think their ability to draft players like Desmond Bane with even late first-round picks makes their picks too valuable. Maybe they simply think the team is not quite ready to go all in. Whatever the reason, it would be foolish not to try and take advantage of a relatively weak Western Conference. Whether it’s a big trade for a player like OG Anunoby or a few veterans to boost the bench, they can’t stand pat at the deadline again. Here’s hoping GM Zach Kleiman has something cooking.