Through 42 games played in 2023-24, the Memphis Grizzlies of yesteryear that won two back-to-back Southwest Division titles are seemingly a fading memory, as they currently boast a putrid record of 15-27 and are soundly on track to miss the postseason for the first time in four seasons.
A significant reason for this negative turnout deals with the fact that the team is missing several of the key commodities that helped pave the way to their recent successes, as they're either sidelined due to injury or currently suiting up for another franchise after departing this past summer.
Though these absences have managed to help some of the club's younger talents come across significant and highly valuable minutes within the rotation that, ultimately, allows for development, it goes without saying that many of these individuals are sorely missed among the Grind City faithful.
Recently, Myke Horrell of Bluff City Media went as far as to discuss the idea of the Grizzlies reuniting with one of the fanbase's beloved former players in Tyus Jones at this year's deadline and even constructed a deal that he believes could be worthwhile for Zach Kleiman and company to execute, even during this lost season.
Grizzlies trade idea brings Tyus Jones back to Memphis
Citing the fact that the Grizzlies are "bone dry" at the guard position with the injuries to Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Marcus Smart both for this season and, theoretically, next year, Horrell argues that pursuing "the perfect backup" in Jones is a rather smart and proactive move to make for both the immediate and long-term future.
"Memphis would bring Stones back home, chisel away at the young small-forward logjam, and add another second-round pick to their arsenal (something they are actually low on). The Tyus Jones for Marcus Smart trade essentially becomes the Luke Kennard for Marcus Smart trade, and both teams really don’t lose here, in my opinion. Luke Kennard has also taken a slight dip this season and his one dimensional play and minor inconsistencies this season have made me more comfortable with moving him for a piece with greater benefit, and I think this is one of them."- Myke Horrell
Of course, Horrell would note that Jones is currently on an expiring contract and is set to hit unrestricted free agency this coming summer, thus making him a possible half-season rental and realistic flight-risk.
Though he would go on to suggest he's rather confident that Jones would re-sign with the Grizzlies, considering their already lofty payroll, his presumed desires to be a starting point guard, and, frankly, his impressive production when serving in such a role, it's more than likely that the 27-year-old, regardless of his affinity for Memphis, would be willing to look for greener pastures.
With this, though the concept of reuniting with Jones is certainly entertaining, it's one that should not be expected to happen anytime soon.
Currently, he finds himself finally holding down the role of full-time starting point guard for the Washington Wizards, where he's producing admirably. Through 42 games played he is posting impressive averages of 12.6 points, 6.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.2 steals while shooting 51.0 percent from the floor and 42.1 percent from distance.
Frankly, even with the fact that having him back in tow would be a luxury both in the now and, in the event that he re-upped, moving forward, Grizzlies fans should want more for their favorite former reserve than a mere backup role.
He's earned it.