Summer time is ‘make-the-team-better’ time for the Grizzlies

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The Memphis Grizzlies have been busy in the last week. They officially parted ways with Dillon Brooks through a sign-and-trade maneuver. As a part of that trade the Grizzlies received Josh Christopher.

Also, according to an NBA report by Adrian Wojnarowski, the Grizzlies and Suns have agreed to some draft swaps and Memphis also picked up Isaiah Todd as part of that agreement.

Terry Davis

With those two transactions, the Grizzlies now have 17 players under contract. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the team can carry 20 players on their preseason roster. The other three spots may be held for the three, two-way contracts they have available.

Two of those spots may go to second-year player Vincent Williams and rookie draft pick GG Anderson II. The other spot may go to second-round pick Tarik Biberovic. All three are on the team’s summer league roster playing in Las Vegas. The team can only carry 15 contracts on the active roster. Two players will either have to be waived or traded before the start of the season.

More moves

The Grizzlies have officially announced the extension of guard Desmond Bane’s contract. The team signed him to a five-year $207 million deal. Bane was selected with the 30th picked in the 2019 draft class. He is one of several players in that class that have received max contract extensions.

Bane now has the largest contract value on the team.

“I have not had the chance to think about it. I had family around when the news broke,” said Bain. “There is a lot going on out here (in Las Vegas). I am here trying to focus on the young guys and what we have going on in the summer league. Once I get home, I will have the chance to reflect on it.”

Bane, who had a nagging toe injury last season, had surgery after the season and is slowly recovering from it. He is regaining better movement and expects to be ready when the season starts.

The team has also introduced Marcus Smart as a member of the Grizzlies.  Smart was acquired in a three-team trade that included the Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics. The addition of Smart, the Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) in 2021-22 season, means Memphis will have the last two DPOY winners on their roster. It’s also the first time in NBA history that one team has had back-to-back DPOY on the same team.

“It is a fresh start,” said Smart. “A lot of things have happened to me. My house flooded. I am ready to get back to the grind.”

Smart has some basketball-career similarities to another Celtic that came to Memphis from Boston – Tony Allen. Allen and Smart attended Oklahoma State and were great defensive players. Smart said he had not yet talked to Allen since being traded to Memphis.

“I was looking it up and it is crazy,” Smart said of the similarities to Allen’s basketball journey. “To see how our careers have been so similar is kinda of crazy.”

Memphis General Manager Zack Kleinman framed the Smart acquisition this way, “This is someone who we have been excited to bring into our organization. We were looking forward to getting someone who can be a lockdown defender and someone who is battle tested. Marcus passed the gut tested.”

What’s this in-season tournament?

The NBA this season will launch its inaugural in-season tournament. The league’s 30 teams will be divided into six groups. Only eight teams will advance to the quarterfinals.  The games will start on November 9 and conclude with the semifinals and finals being played in Las Vegas December 7-9.

The official dates for the games will be released by the NBA sometime in August. The Grizzlies will host Phoenix and Utah and will travel to play the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trailblazers.