The Memphis Grizzlies may be amid one of their worst campaigns in recent memory with their current record of 18-35, but this should not deter fans from believing the club will once again be a legitimate title contender once the likes of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr. all get back to full strength come next season.
Dealing with a bevy of injuries and health-related issues all throughout the year, the organization has been forced to take on a rebuilding mindset heading into this second half stretch and focus their attention on bettering their odds of claiming a top-flight draft selection.
However, regardless of how this season finishes out, when fully intact the Grizzlies are a legitimate threat to take home the illustrious Larry O'Brien Trophy, and, during a recent episode of Locked on Grizzlies, host Joe Mullinax declared them to be closer to achieving such a goal than the beloved Grit and Grind teams ever were, and believes this coming offseason will be a major key in these lofty pursuits.
Grizzlies analyst drops exciting take on team's championship window
"I love the Grit and Grind era, that's my personal favorite -- Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen -- that's what made me such a fan... This team now, as constructed with that three guy core [of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr.] is closer to a championship than the Grit and Grind guys ever were. That's just a reality. They have that opportunity, they have the flexibility. It's now. This summer is gigantic and I think they know that."- Joe Mullinax
Of course, all this is tied to the recent remarks made by Zach Kleiman regarding the team's trade deadline decision-making that saw the Grizzlies offload several core players in exchange for cap space, added draft assets, and extra roster room.
During his presser, the general manager admitted that the championship window is now, and suggested that they will be open to making significant changes to their roster be it "by trade, draft, [or] free agency."
Whatever path they choose to embark on, Mullinax is convinced that they are closer to claiming their first NBA Championship than even the Marc Gasol-led squad that claimed the franchise's lone Western Conference Finals berth back in 2013.
Getting Morant, Bane, and Jackson all back into the fold will have the biggest impact on their future successes, but this coming summer will provide them an opportunity to strengthen their odds of a championship run even more.