Grizzlies make key decision with latest hardship exception

Dec 2, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins against the Phoenix
Dec 2, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins against the Phoenix / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies have been dealt a grueling hand in 2023-24 when it comes to the health department, as they've already endured enough injuries to key rotational commodities that, for most teams, would qualify for an entire season's worth.

From Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke to Luke Kennard and Marcus Smart, Taylor Jenkins' squad has been dismantled quite extensively, and some of these absentees such as Adams are already being ruled out for the entirety of the campaign.

In response to this unfortunate situation, the league has granted the club numerous hardship exceptions over the past month, which has resulted in the signing of Shaq Harrison and Jaylen Nowell on 10-day contracts.

With the deal's duration now officially expired, it seems likely that the former will be heading back to the open market in search of another chance at keeping his NBA career alive.

However, when it comes to the latter in Nowell, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on December 3 that the Grizzlies will be signing the wing to a second 10-day as a result of being issued an additional hardship exception.

Memphis Grizzlies bringing back Jaylen Nowell on new 10-day contract

Since initially signing on with the Grizzlies back on November 24, Nowell has seen five games of action, though his coming out party as a member of the franchise came back on December 1 when he dropped an impressive stat line of 19 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steals while shooting 57.1 percent shooting from the field in a 108-94 win against the Dallas Mavericks.

A self-described bucket, the 24-year-old finds himself coming off a solid 2022-23 season where he posted averages of 10.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game while suiting up for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Publicly stating that he believes he can serve as a "spark" for this struggling Memphis squad, through his stint thus far Nowell has sporadically flashed this brand of potential and, in turn, earned himself an extended stay so he can continue to show his worth.

At the very least, he'll be looked upon to fill in as some sort of replacement option at the wing position for their injured sharpshooter in Kennard, who Wojnarowski simultaneously reported will be sidelined for another two to three weeks as he recovers from a left knee bone bruise.