Los Angeles Lakers center John Salley was asked if the Denver Nuggets would defend their title next season, and he said, "I think Memphis, man." They had a shooting opportunity. They have a chance."
While the Grizzlies are projected to be one of the best teams in the Western Conference next season, they still appear to be a step behind the defending champions.
Memphis earned the second seed last season, but they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Lakers, exposing several big weaknesses.
The Grizzlies have done well to solve some of the flaws that plagued them in the first round of the playoffs,
but they have yet to replace Dillon Brooks with a new starting small forward, which could keep them hunting internally for that role.
The Grizzlies have some decent starting three alternatives, but many expected them to seek a deal for a high-level forward, which has yet to happen.
Also, without Ja Morant for the first 25 games of next season, the Grizzlies will play more than a quarter of their schedule without their greatest player.
This will be a challenging season for the Grizzlies, but former NBA big man John Salley likes what they have.