Grizzlies issued harsh prediction ahead of Ja Morant's return: 'They're too far gone'

Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Five
Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Five / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Without their superstar centerpiece Ja Morant in the fold throughout the first month and change of action, the Memphis Grizzlies have struggled mightily. From their fourth-worst record of 6-15 to their seventh-worst net rating in the entire association, it's evident that Taylor Jenkins' squad is one of the least effective units in 2023-24.

Despite this, however, the hope has continuously been that once their All-NBA guard makes his way back from his 25-game suspension mid-way through this month the Grizzlies will start their journey on the road to recovery with an aim at their fourth-straight playoff appearance.

Unfortunately, not all share this enthusiasm, as Bleacher Report writer Dan Favale recently noted in his rest-of-season win-loss predictions piece that he believes Memphis is simply "too far gone" for one player to save their campaign.

Ja Morant's impending return deemed not enough to save Grizzlies

"Here's the thing: It's probably too late for Morant or anybody else to save the Grizzlies' season. They're too far gone. They trail by five losses for the final play-in spot. That's a rough gap to bridge past the season's quarter-pole.

Playing so much of the year without Morant is clearly problematic. But Memphis has suffered a bevy of other bad breaks. Neither Steven Adams nor Brandon Clarke is expected to play this season. Marcus Smart has looked bad on offense and may not return from a left foot injury before the calendar turns to 2024. Luke Kennard has appeared in just eight games while battling a left knee issue."

Dan Favale on Grizzlies

Favale would continue on to suggest that the Grizzlies could, in theory, look to cash in some of their higher-valued expendable assets on the trade market, but believes that such efforts would have a minimal impact on helping them achieve more success this year, and noted that things are "unsalvageable independent of in-house miracles and external collapses."

Even with the hope and enthusiasm that is being generated with the impending return of Morant, this take by Bleacher Report is not an anomaly, as even former sixth man extraordinaire Lou Williams has gone on record to say Memphis is already "cooked."

As far as their final win-loss prediction, Favale believes that they'll wrap things up with a record of 33-49 which might not be as grand as their consecutive 50 or more win seasons from 2021-2023, is deemed "demonstrably better than the 25 victories" they're currently on track for.