Since the Memphis Grizzlies went 22-60 last season, they won't be on anyone's radar heading into 2018-2019.
That might be a mistake.
The Grizzlies have had an active offseason. They traded for veteran shooting guard Garrett Temple, signed former San Antonio Spur Kyle Anderson in free agency and selected forward Jaren Jackson Jr. with the fourth overall pick before landing Jevon Carter in the second round of the 2018 Draft.
Further, they re-signed journeyman MarShon Brooks, who had a resurgent back-end of the regular season for them last year. Dillon Brooks will be a year older, as will Wayne Seldon, Andrew Harrison Ivan Rabb and Dakari Johnson, who they also just traded for.
Further, veterans JaMychal Green, Chandler Parsons, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley should be healthy and ready to contribute.
Memphis’ 2017-2018 campaign was marred by numerous injuries and the mid-season dismissal of coach David Fizdale. Now with former interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff signed to lead the team forward, the Grizzlies could make a triumphant return this year, considering the fact that Conley was held to just 12 games last season.
The All-Star caliber point guard (and member of Team USA) underwent heel surgery in January and missed the rest of the season after that point.
The floor general’s return
But, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, he expects to be back for the start of training camp.
"I'm doing really well. I wish I could've participated in contact stuff," Conley said. "I think I could, but we're being cautious and allowing me to get a full summer of rehab. I should be ready to go by training camp -- I expect to be ready.”
Right now, Conley is with Team USA in Las Vegas, but has been limited to non-contact drills as he continues to rehab.
"With anything dealing with Achilles, it takes time and you got to be patient to deal with it," Conley said. "Right now, it's all starting to come together. I'm so used to making a move and I expect pain. I got used to pain with some of the moves. Now I make the moves and there's nothing there, so that's exciting.”
Conley expressed his excitement for the upcoming season and he approves of the franchise’s recent transactions.
"I've been very impressed with our offseason -- it's one of the better ones I've been a part of," Conley noted. "We made moves that might seem small, but for us they're huge. Bringing in some draft picks that can help us right away, we're making the right moves.”
Conley is just one season removed from averaging a career-high 20.5 points per game to go along with 6.3 assists in an efficient 33.2 minutes. There’s no reason to expect that he can’t replicate those numbers once again if he fully regains his health.
Since last season's disappointing record ended a seven-year playoff streak in Memphis, they'll be looking to get back on the right track.