5 Keys to the Memphis Grizzlies making the playoffs in 2025

The Grizzlies must do these things to return to the postseason in 2025.
Memphis Grizzlies, Ja Morant, Desmond Bane
Memphis Grizzlies, Ja Morant, Desmond Bane / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 5

The Memphis Grizzlies knew Ja Morant would miss the first 25 games of the regular season, but nobody expected him to play just nine times. It was a devastating blow for a franchise looking to take the next step. The Grizzlies traded for Marcus Smart after three straight playoff appearances, but just one series victory. They have star power but are searching for the right role players to round out their roster.

Memphis plans to be back in contention next season, but things will look different. Dillon Brooks, Steven Adams, and Tyus Jones are not returning. The Grizzlies added Marcus Smart but have a massive hole at the five and serious questions to answer. Their front office should be active on the trade market this summer in hopes of finding some upgrades.

How do the Grizzlies jump back into contention? It won’t be easy. The Western Conference is loaded, and only getting harder as Victor Wembanyama emerges in San Antonio. Memphis has work to do, and these five areas should be their focus this summer.

5. Keeping Ja Morant on the floor

Morant is one of the most electric players in the NBA. The leader of the Grizzlies is a two-time All-Star and an elite scorer. Memphis went from 15th to 30th in offensive rating this season with Morant out. He should be fully recovered from his shoulder injury this summer with no lingering effects, but that may not guarantee Grizzlies fans see him on the floor.

Morant has not met the NBA’s current 65-game criteria for awards since his rookie season in 2020. Injuries have been problematic for the 6’2 guard, especially with his fearless play style. Being without Morant for 20-plus games could push the Grizzlies down the standings. They have to do whatever possible to keep him healthy, but Morant must help himself too.

This is the most important and obvious key to the Memphis Grizzlies' success. They need Ja Morant to be their superstar, which cannot happen if he is suspended again. The 24-year-old must stay out of trouble heading into next season, so his franchise can hit the ground running.

The Grizzlies are 16 games behind the Warriors for tenth in the Western Conference and the final Play-In Tournament berth. Morant will provide a massive boost, but Memphis needs more if they plan on being true contenders.