5 Young players the Grizzlies should develop, 3 to give up on

Memphis Grizzlies, Ziaire Williams. (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Memphis Grizzlies, Ziaire Williams. (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Memphis Grizzlies have arguably the best young core in the NBA. Ja Morant is an unquestioned superstar at 23 years old, Jaren Jackson Jr. just won Defensive Player of the Year as a 23-year-old, and Desmond Bane just got a five-year $207 million extension at 25. Memphis has been in the playoffs for three straight years, and they are looking to make a deep playoff run in 2024.

The Grizzlies still have work to do this offseason as their roster sits at 17 players. Theymust get down to 15 before the start of the regular season, which could mean a trade is on the horizon. Memphis added Marcus Smart and Derrick Rose this summer. They believe they can compete for a championship when healthy, but watching their young talent develop could be their key to success this season.

The Grizzlies are developing their three stars, but their roster is full of young talent behind them. Who should Memphis be looking to improve to take that next step as a team? Continuing their development is key, but it is time to move on from some. Here is a look at each young talent on their roster.

5 Players the Memphis Grizzlies should develop, 3 they shouldn’t

Develop: Xavier Tillman

The Grizzlies drafted Tillman in the second round in 2020 after three years at Michigan State. He has played off the bench for his first three years, and the 24-year-old is committed to improving his game. He set new career highs in minutes, points, rebounds, assists, and steals per game last season, and Tillman is focused on adding a jumper.

At 6’8, he is a bit undersized, but that did not stop him from finishing in the top 50 in win shares per 48 minutes last season and tied for 99th in value over replacement player (VORP). The advanced metrics love Tillman’s game, and the best should still be yet to come.

The Memphis Grizzlies found a quality rotation player in the second round that they should continue to develop.