Sunday, January 29, 2023

Memphis Grizzlies Win NBA Summer League, Fans Anticipate Healthy Regular Season

By Collin Rivera intern

The Memphis Grizzlies Twitter Photo.

When Murray State guard Ja Morant was drafted 2nd overall to the Memphis Grizzlies, there was nothing but excitement. That excitement continued through this summer as the Grizzlies won the NBA summer league.

The team was led by NBA summer league MVP, Brandon Clarke, who averaged nearly 15 points per game along with nearly 10 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. Morant did not feature in any of the games played in Las Vegas.

Local Grizzlies fan and Ole Miss alumnus, Nick Dunavant, said that this title win means more to him and other fans in Memphis than just a summer league win.

“I don’t care if it’s the Summer League. Any time I’m watching my Grizzlies and I look at the scoreboard and I see Memphis winning, it makes my heart happy,” he said. “Summer league might have a small impact on the actual NBA season, but it has a massive impact on my fandom and my love for this team.”

The Grizzlies were one of the worst teams in the NBA last season, but through various trade additions that included NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, former Duke phenomenon Grayson Allen, former No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson, and sophomore Jaren Jackson Jr., fans are hopeful that this young core can bring back a winning culture to Memphis.

“This is going to be a multi-year process to be a team back in the playoffs. I’m just praying for team health, especially in Jaren and Ja,” Dunavant said. “Our young core has so much potential and this team is going to be battling in the playoffs in a few years along with young teams like Atlanta, New Orleans, Sacramento. My expectation for this season is we are going to be a lot of fun, but to realize 35 wins is probably the ceiling.”

While the Grizzlies may have won the summer league, the team’s next focus is training camp. The Grizzlies will meet back up for training camp in either late September or early October. The team’s first regular-season matchup has yet to been announced.