It appears as though the Memphis Grizzlies franchise is in a state of disarray.
They're 7-13 (as of Thursday) and recently fired head coach David Fizdale after All-Star Marc Gasol publicly questioned why he was benched in the fourth quarter of a previous loss. The team has also unfortunately dealt with a number of key injuries, including star point guard Mike Conley.
Checking in at the No. 12 spot in the Western Conference after 20 games played is certainly concerning, and given the obvious concerns surrounding the team, things might not get better this season, especially if Conley doesn't return back to full health. He's slated to miss another two-to-three weeks due to his Achilles injury.
Therefore, some basic questions have come to the forefront in recent days. Should the team completely rebuild? Should they ship off Gasol? Should they trade Conley? Should they get rid of both and receive as much compensation back as possible to essentially start fresh?
Speaking to reporters on Thursday afternoon, Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace cleared things up for reporters and the entire NBA community.
"We have no intention to trade Marc," Wallace told ESPN when asked if the franchise might consider dealing the 32-year-old center. "We never seriously considered that at all. We never placed any calls to any teams in that regard. So that's not happening.... It's not just Marc that this whole equation is about. It's also Mike Conley, when he comes back. We've got two guys among the elite in the league at their respective positions that are still very much in their window with an awful lot of tread left on their tires."
Therefore, it doesn't seem as though the organization is actively looking to trade either veteran. However, if either asks to be dealt, we have seen that players have a tremendous amount of power, as seen earlier this season with Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns.
Not only is the GM going to hold onto both of the faces of the franchise, but he also has his sights set on the playoffs once everyone gets healthy.
"We're full speed ahead," Wallace said. "We've been in the playoffs seven years in a row. We've got a team when fully healthy and we get everything together is more athletic, more versatile and more potent offensively than we've had for a number of years. Even though the going has been a little difficult early, there's still 62 [games] to play. We believe in this team. We're hoping -- got our fingers crossed -- that we'll get everybody healthy soon."
He continued, "Our expectation always is to be a playoff team and have a chance to do some things when we get in there. We're behind in the standings right now, but it's a long way to go. When we get our guys back, I think we'll surge."
As a result, Gasol spoke out in support of Wallace's words and made it clear that he appreciates the chance to stay in Memphis and work things out.
"You know how brutal and how the reality is in the NBA and how much things can change fast, so you've got to really do the most and get the most out of every minute that you're able to," Gasol said. "Obviously, you appreciate the confidence and the trust that they're showing in myself and Mike, because maybe the next step once you try to fix it by replacing the head coach, then it's your big guns, try to change them too. That may be the natural step, but they're sticking with us.
"They believe in what we believe in, and they're giving us that confidence, but we have to produce," he continued. "And producing is not just numbers. In our situation right now, it's more. It's not just that. It's obviously winning, because that's what we're used to here. It's also teaching guys the way of doing things and the way to go about ourselves as a team. At the same time, we need to win."