All throughout the offseason, perhaps the biggest question when it comes to this Memphis Grizzlies team (at least in regard to their rotational plan) has been who will wind up serving as their starting wing for the 2023-24 campaign.
The departure of the long-tenured Dillon Brooks this past July proved to be the catalyst for this particular conundrum and, considering GM Zach Kleiman and company mainly focused their attention on bolstering the clubs’ backcourt depth what with the additions of Marcus Smart and Derrick Rose, they seem to have done very little to address said vacancy.
Through two preseason games, coach Taylor Jenkins has already experimented with the position in his first-five lineups, as he gave the nod to Luke Kennard in game one against the Pacers and then Ziaire Williams in game two versus the Bucks, both of whom were predicted to be in the running for the role heading into training camp.
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins noncommittal on state of starting wing position
And while each showed some signs of promise in the starting lineup with their respective opportunities, when asked during a postgame presser on Tuesday evening whether the Grizzlies were considering giving any other players “the opportunity to join the starting lineup in a similar role,” the headman provided a rather noncommittal retort, stating: “Potentially, [it’s to be decided]. [It’s] day to day.”
Naturally, this quote creates more questions than answers for Grizzlies fans, as it sparks numerous trains of thought — Is he hinting Memphis may already be leaning toward one of these guys? Is there a surprise option he’s waiting to roll out? Could Jenkins be just as lost in this situation as fans are?
As mentioned, both Kennard and Williams have shown reasons for why each deserves consideration for the starting three spot in the Grizzlies’ rotation, with the latter publicly noting “I’m ready” following his 10-point, 2-assist, 1-block performance against the Bucks Tuesday night.
However, still yet to get a go at the role is sophomore David Roddy, who some have gone as far as to tab as the best option at the position currently found on the team and, considering his impressive averages of 10 points, 4 boards, and 2.5 assists on 57.1 percent shooting from the field through both outings, he seems very must deserving at an audition.
As we head into preseason game number three against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night, perhaps the best approach for fans when it comes to the starting small forward position is to simply expect the unexpected…at least, for the meantime.