The Memphis Grizzlies enter the 2021-22 season among many teams hoping to contend in the Western Conference.
Taylor Jenkins enters his third year as head coach, looking to build on a Play-In Tournament appearance in 2020 and a postseason showing in 2021. If it can remain healthy, Memphis has a deep collection of young talent led by Ja Morant.
Let's take a look at the depth chart and positional battles heading into this season.
|PG||Ja Morant||Tyus Jones||Kris Dunn|
|SG||Dillon Brooks||De'Anthony Melton||John Konchar||Sam Merrill|
|SF||Kyle Anderson||Desmond Bane||Jarrett Culver||Ziaire Williams|
|PF||Jaren Jackson Jr.||Brandon Clarke||Santi Aldama|
|C||Steven Adams||Xavier Tillman Sr.||Killian Tillie|
Key additions and subtractions
The biggest name to move on from Memphis was Jonas Valanciunas, with the big man leaving behind 17.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game of production. In his place, Steven Adams looks set to slot into the starting center role for at least the beginning of the season.
The Grizzlies also traded Grayson Allen to Milwaukee after he started in 38 of his 50 appearances last season while averaging 25.2 minutes per game.
Kris Dunn and Jarrett Culver made their way to Memphis to add depth, while first round draft picks Ziaire Williams and Santi Aldama look like they will round out the roster.
The biggest battle for minutes appears to be between Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, De'Anthony Melton and Desmond Bane. I have Brooks and Anderson projected to start, but one of the other two could slot into a starting role if Taylor Jenkins opts to play Jaren Jackson Jr. at the five.
According to Cleaning the Glass, Jackson played 58 percent of his minutes at the five in 2020-21 and 55 percent in 2019-20. On the other hand, Adams has started in 504 out of 507 games since his rookie season.
In many ways, trading out Allen has opened the door for Melton and Bane to take on more prominent roles, which could well have been the thinking behind the trade.
The addition of Kris Dunn adds solid depth at the point guard position. Whether or not Dunn can eat into the backup minutes of Tyus Jones remains to be seen.
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