The Memphis Grizzlies will approach the 2022-23 NBA season with hopes that they can translate a good regular season into a deep run in the playoffs.
Last season, the Grizzlies posted the second-best record in the Western Conference but were brushed aside by the eventual-champion Warriors in six games in the conference semifinals.
Already one of the league’s youngest teams, the talented Grizzlies hold three of the first 47 picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, which means the team will either add a few more fresh-faced ballers or package the picks into an established NBA star.
Whatever road president of basketball ops Zach Kleiman takes, the Memphis roster will be one of the best when the 2022-23 season starts in October.
Fans in Tennessee are still seeking a first professional sports title. In fact, the Volunteer State is the only one with as many as two major pro teams to have never lifted a championship trophy. Should it happen in Memphis, ah how the barbecue and bourbon would be consumed.
Memphis Grizzlies 2023 NBA Championship Odds
In spite of 56 wins last season, oddsmakers at Tennessee sports betting apps don’t consider Memphis a favorite to win the NBA title in 2023:
|Golden State Warriors||+600||+600||+600|
Looking Forward to Next Season
The Grizzlies were one of only two teams to have as many as nine players average 20 minutes played per game. The depth is a plus and allows head coach Taylor Jenkins to make wholesale changes to his floor personnel depending on the flow of the game.
But depth aside, the core of this team’s future is dynamic point guard Ja Morant, and bookend forwards Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane. All three of those players can put the ball on the floor and slash to the hoop, and still demand respect for their outside shot.
An optimist could point to the fact that the Grizz played the Warriors tougher than any team in the postseason, dragging the Dubs to six games, even after Morant was sidelined with an injury. Morant will only get more confident, and Bane’s huge step forward should keep steamrolling next season.
Memphis has five key players who will be 24 years old or younger this upcoming season. But given the somewhat surprising success of last season, this team has to be a contender for conference champion. Somehow, Caesars Sportsbook lists the Grizz at +1000 to win the Western Conference.
The Warriors, Suns, Lakers, and Clippers (yes, really) are listed ahead of Memphis in odds for winning the conference in 2022-23.
That may be a tempting invitation to attract money on Memphis, or maybe the oddsmakers are infatuated with Steph Curry & Co. and Old Man Chris Paul & The Setting Suns. Make your own decisions on where to place your money on NBA futures betting, but this Memphis team is as up-and-comer as any up-and-comer has ever looked.
Some experts like Tennessee point guard Kennedy Chandler to be the No. 22 selection by Memphis. But, that would be a head-scratcher, seeing as Chandler is a traditional PG with similar skills to pieces the Grizzlies already have.
More intriguing is Michigan State’s Max Christie, a Tayshaun Prince clone who has the defensive chops to step in as a defender in the NBA, while also bringing an ability to fill lanes and run the floor in the up-tempo Memphis transition game.
The Grizzlies could also deftly swap one, two, or even all three of their picks and grab an NBA player with more lines on his résumé — a tactic that would complement the youth of its roster.
Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire