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
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2. Maximizing Marcus Smart

The Grizzlies gave up two first-round draft picks and Tyus Jones to get Smart from the Celtics. Boston was eager to change things up, but losing Smart’s energy and defense was not ideal. The 6’3 guard made first-team All-Defense three times and was Defensive Player of the Year in 2022. Memphis needs a stopper next to Ja Morant, but things have not gone to plan.

They were in a massive hole by the time Morant’s suspension ended, and the Grizzlies star only played six games next to Smart. The former Celtic has appeared in just 20 total contests this season and produced a negative VORP. It is fair to question how he fits in Memphis with their current core.

Can the Morant, Bane, and Smart trio work on both ends of the floor? The 30-year-old can guard multiple positions, but the Grizzlies need him to be Defensive Player of the Year-caliber. He has not been in the last two seasons. Can Memphis help him get back there?

On offense, there could be larger issues. Morant and Smart shoot below 32.5 percent from 3-point range for their careers. Jaren Jackson Jr. has been under 32 percent in two of the last three seasons. Can the Grizzlies survive with three inconsistent shooters on the floor?

They have to maximize Marcus Smart. He has two years left on his contract, and the Grizzlies need him to be a key piece. If the fit does not work, Memphis must get value on the trade market.