MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — The mantra this season was next man up or ‘we deep’ as the Grizzlies say. Now, it’s how can the Grizzlies front office keep this dynamic group together.
Zach Kleiman, the Grizzlies general manager and EVP of basketball operations, told the media he will do everything to make that happen.
“We’re not going to have any issue paying anyone that we want to pay, there’s never going to be any issue with retention here,” said Kleiman, the 2021-22 NBA Executive of the Year.
“You want to be able to keep it together,” said Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins. “Continuity is obviously big. That’s what we’ve had from year one to two to three. We have so much more work to do, but [Kleiman’s] commitment to doing whatever it is to give our city a great basketball team to bring championships here in the future.”
Keeping the core group together is important to this Grizzlies team especially with both Tyus Jones and Kyle Anderson set to enter free agency, while Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke are at the end of their rookie deals.
“You see how continuity goes for a bunch of teams like the Warriors, Utah how they keep teams together, they keep building on that, super important,” Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. said. “You want to protect that, you want to build on it.”
Morant added, “We definitely have a special group and I feel like it’s very important that we stay together.”
Whatever changes are made to the lineup this off-season, it will still be centered around Morant and Jackson.
“My biggest task in the summer is continue to understand how I’m going to unlock those guys among all the great depth that we have as well,” said Jenkins. “It’s great as a coach when you have a lot of guys that can contribute, you hear me say that all the time, but when Ja and JJ are leading the charge, that’s my responsibility to figure out better ways.”
When Morant was asked if he would re-sign with the Grizzlies this offseason, his answer was simple.
“I’m definitely happy to be here. Memphis is my home,” said Morant. “If your answer is do I want to be in Memphis? Hell yeah.”