Ranking Dallas Mavericks among division rivals: 2. Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies were one of the most active teams this offseason, but did they improve their roster? Going from Jonas Valanciunas to Steven Adams at the five is a downgrade. Memphis added other pieces, but none of them feel like needle-movers. The Grizzlies are relying on better health for Jaren Jackson Jr. and internal growth from Ja Morant to jump up the standings.
Memphis may not be done making moves. They made a trade on Sept. 10 and still have too many guaranteed contracts. The Grizzlies could swing more deals before the regular season gets underway on Oct. 19.
Memphis was in the playoffs last season. They defeated the Spurs and Warriors in the play-in tournament to secure the eighth seed before losing to the Utah Jazz in five games in the first round. Playoff Ja Morant is quickly becoming a thing, and the 22-year-old figures to have the Grizzlies in the postseason hunt again this season.
Memphis won 38 games last year, which works out to a 43-win pace over an 82-game season. Expect the Grizzlies to be right in that area this season. Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. will be better, but their roster around them feels slightly worse. Memphis will likely have to go through the play-in tournament again if they want to reach the postseason.