2 ex-Grizzlies primed for big seasons in 2023-24

Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones drives to the basket. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Tyus Jones

The Grizzlies made the bold and splashy decision to execute a blockbuster multi-team trade for Marcus Smart this offseason to bolster their backcourt rotation while simultaneously acquiring much-needed veteran leadership to insert into this team’s young core, particularly Ja Morant.

Rightly so, the 29-year-old’s arrival has both fans and media pundits excited, however, in order for them to attain his services, Memphis had to part ways with beloved backup point guard Tyus Jones in the exchange.

Shipped off to the third-party Washington Wizards, the soon-to-be ninth-year veteran now has an opportunity to claim a full-time starting role and, to many, this could easily help lead him to a true “breakout” campaign.

Last season, in particular, showed just how important Jones was to the Grizzlies and, more importantly, how well he can play when serving as a team’s primary one guard.

Often found in the club’s starting five lineup due to Morant’s injury absences as well as his collection of off-court-induced suspensions, the 27-year-old registered 22 starts last year and posted averages of 16.4 points, 8.1 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.8 steals in such a role while shooting 50 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from deep.

Of course, this type of production shouldn’t be all that shocking when considering the fact that for his career he sports averages of 12.1 points, 6.9 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.6 steals on 46.2 percent shooting from the field, and 36.5 percent shooting from deep when logging minutes as a starter.

Now he has the chance to nab a first-five nod on a regular basis with the Wizards who, outside of Kyle Kuzma and recently acquired Jordan Poole, are void of any true difference-makers, thus suggesting that Jones could be in a great position to have a career-best season turnout.