3 Grizzlies who have most to prove during final week of 2023-24

Memphis Grizzlies v Milwaukee Bucks
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1. Scotty Pippen Jr.

For a while, it seemed as though Scotty Pippen Jr. was coasting toward a standard deal upgrade after producing admirably following a two-way agreement with the Grizzlies back in mid-January.

Since his arrival, the point guard has posted impressive per-game averages of 11.5 points, 4.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and half a block while shooting 50.0 percent from the floor and 47.2 percent from deep.

A backcourt talent in a similar vein as former favorite Tyus Jones, the 23-year-old has endeared himself to the fanbase throughout his 17-game stint thus far and has very clearly steadied an offensive unit that, before establishing himself as a regular rotational commodity, was painfully jack rabbity.

However, recently beat reporter Damichael Cole made the argument that Pippen is not necessarily a sure-fire re-signee for this franchise past the conclusion of his 50-game limit, as he noted that the surge of Jordan Goodwin makes things a bit complicated.

"Jordan Goodwin's role is starting to be defined. He's starting to get more comfortable. Taylor Jenkins even talked about it a couple of days ago. There's a conversation to be had : Jordan Goodwin or Scotty Pippen Jr.? If you're going for the more natural point guard, I think Scotty Pippen is your guy. He's the one who if you want to have someone come in, maybe play some rotation minutes at the point guard position when a couple of guys are down... Scotty Pippen Jr. is the guy I would lean to in that scenario. But there's something about that 14 or 15 man being an energy guy. When the team's lacking that energy, the coach has that one...to go to on the bench and say 'Go in the game, go shift the energy. These guys aren't playing hard enough. I know I won't have that problem with you.' [There's] something about having that type of guy [and] Jordan Goodwin is that type of guy."

Damichael Cole

Though Cole would acknowledge that Pippen still has the better odds of claiming such a contractual upgrade, it seems to be less clear than ever what with the emergence of Goodwin.

Continuing on with his brand of production through the finish line of the regular season could be a way to further the gap.