5 Creative ways Grizzlies can get under roster limit

Memphis Grizzlies, Jaren Jackson Jr., Ja Morant. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies, Jaren Jackson Jr., Ja Morant. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Memphis Grizzlies made a surprising trade for Marcus Smart this summer, but it has been an otherwise quiet offseason. Dillon Brooks found a new home in Houston, and the Grizzlies added Derrick Rose and Josh Christopher to their mix. Smart is a perfect fit for Grizzlies culture, and he is excited to work with Ja Morant.

Memphis still has work to do before the start of the regular season. They currently have 17 players on guaranteed contracts, and their roster must be cut to 15 before opening night. The Grizzlies could simply waive two players to get below, but that would mean parting with young talent that still has potential.

The Griz want to contend for the championship in 2024. They have zero interest in taking a step back. Morant’s 25-game suspension to start the season does not help, but Memphis believes they are in the hunt. That means getting thinking outside the box to get their roster down to 15 players.

Creative ways Memphis Grizzlies can get under roster limit

5. Turn young talents into a starting-caliber wing

The Grizzlies have a strong and deep roster with one clear hole. Ja Morant, Marcus Smart, Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Steven Adams is a strong starting five that is slightly undersized. Behind Bane, Memphis lacks a strong 3-and-D wing that would allow the team to go small in the playoffs.

Can the Grizzlies package some of their young talent and future draft picks to land a difference-making wing? OG Anunoby is the ideal target, but the Raptors appear to have zero interest in letting him go. Can they drop down a tier and find a capable starter for a reasonable price?

Every team wants multiple 3-and-D wings, so acquiring one is always easier said than done. Expect the Memphis Grizzlies to try, but landing one before the trade deadline is a long shot at best. That is far from the only way they can clear their logjam, though.