Memphis Grizzlies Preview - NBA Team Previews 2022-23

Memphis Grizzlies Preview - NBA Team Previews 2022-23

This article is part of our NBA Team Previews series.

2022-23 Memphis Grizzlies Team Preview

Memphis' biggest offseason moves were inking Ja Morant and Tyus Jones to contract extensions. The bench underwent a shake-up, though, with Kyle Anderson signing in Minnesota and De'Anthony Melton being dealt to the 76ers for Danny Green -- not expected to play this season -- and the No. 23 overall pick, which was used on David Roddy. Jake LaRavia was also drafted No. 19 overall, and he could see real minutes with Jaren Jackson recovering from a broken foot.

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2021-22 Record: 56-26; lost in Western Conference Semifinals

2022-23 NBA Win Total Odds: 48.5 wins (DraftKings)

2022-23 NBA Title Odds: +2200 (DraftKings)

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Check out our 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Projections, customizable for your league settings.

Memphis Grizzlies Fantasy Basketball Preview

Ja Morant

Morant made a massive leap forward in production last season. After averaging 19.1 points and shooting 44.9 percent from the field during the 2020-21 season, he averaged 27.4 points and shot 49.3 percent last season. His usage rate skyrocketed to 33.7 percent, and he dazzled on a nightly basis with his ability to finish at the rim. He wasn't just a scorer, either, providing 5.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. However, two red flags cap his fantasy upside. First, he only shot 76.1 percent from the free-throw line -- an area where you usually need stellar production from a guard in fantasy to help offset the deficiencies of some forwards and centers. Second, he was limited to 57 games because of injuries. Injury risk comes with using an early-round selection on Morant due to his high-flying, reckless style, but when he's on the floor, he's one of the most valuable fantasy assets out there.

Jaren Jackson

Jackson has the skillset to be an elite fantasy option. No, he's not a great rebounder for his size, never averaging more than 5.8 rebounds per game for his career. However, he provides an excellent mix of three-point shooting and defensive stats. Last season, he averaged 1.6 three-pointers, 0.9 steals and 2.3 blocks across 27 minutes per game. A deep Grizzlies roster and foul trouble often limited his playing time, but if he was ever unleashed for more than 30 minutes per game, the sky is the limit. Unfortunately for Jackson, he suffered a stress reaction in his right foot that required surgery. He had the procedure at the end of June, and the timetable for his return was 4-to-6 months. That means we might not see Jackson again until January. As previously mentioned, the Grizzlies have the depth to cover his loss, specifically with Brandon Clarke likely to step into an expanded role. That means when Jackson does eventually return, the Grizzlies can be cautious with him, slowly ramping up his minutes and potentially sitting him out of one half of back-to-back sets. While Jackson might be worth a late-round pick in leagues that have IR spots, it's difficult to justify selecting him any earlier than that.

Desmond Bane

Bane assembled a breakout 2021-22 campaign and was one of the finalists for Most Improved Player. After demonstrating his upside as a shooter as a rookie, Bane took on an expanded offensive role, and his efficiency held firm. Notably, he increased his two-point attempts and added some playmaking responsibilities. Altogether, his increased responsibilities resulted in 18.2 points on shooting splits of 46/44/90, which included 3.0 three-point makes per game. In addition, he tallied 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 29.8 minutes, making him one of the biggest fantasy sleepers. After ranking 157th in per-game fantasy scoring as a rookie, Bane ascended to 29th last season. Encouragingly, that strong play translated to the postseason, where he averaged 18.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists across 35.7 minutes in 12 appearances. Expect Bane to maintain a similar role this year, though, given his age (24) and evident importance to the team, it's fair to expect statistical improvement. He'll fight a bit for touches with Dillon Brooks, who played just 32 games last year due to injury, but Bane's development tracks much better, so he'll likely take priority within the offense.

Dillon Brooks

Volume shooting for Brooks has fueled his fantasy upside. Last season, he attempted 16.4 shots per game en route to 18.4 points on 43.2 percent shooting. While that was the best field-goal percentage of Brooks' career, he hit just 30.9 percent of his threes, and he ended on an especially sour note, connecting on just 34.9 percent of his shots in the playoffs. Despite shaky efficiency, it would take sizable growth from Ziaire Williams or 2022 rookies to cut into Brooks' usage. Additionally, Kyle Anderson logged 21.5 minutes per game across 69 appearances last season, but he signed with Minnesota in the offseason. Ultimately, Brooks is a quality defender due for another impactful season. He'll boom and bust at times, but Brooks maintains the ability to shot-chuck his way to fantasy success.

Brandon Clarke

With Jaren Jackson and Steven Adams healthy and Kyle Anderson and Ziaire Williams getting time at forward last season, Clarke's role reduced in size. Clarke logged the fewest minutes of his career (19.5 MPG), though he still made strides. He set new career highs in field-goal percentage (64.4%), offensive rebounds (2.1) and blocks (1.1) per game. The fourth-year forward has shot well inside the paint, making 75 percent of his 233 attempts at the rim and 54 percent of his 152 shots from floater range (91st percentile for players classified as bigs). Clarke also made some strides creating for himself. In 2020-21, only 17 percent of his baskets were unassisted. Last season, that number climbed to a solid 29 percent. Assuming his development continues, Clarke has the potential to compose the best season of his career in 2022-23. Jackson broke his foot in late June and is expected to be out 4-6 months, meaning he may miss about half the season. And given his extensive injury history, Memphis may exercise caution bringing him back. That could thrust Clarke into a starting role, or at the very least, a sixth-man role. It should give managers a little pause that the Grizzlies have been hesitant to hand Clark big minutes in the past. In his 181 career games, he's seen 30-plus minutes only 10 times. The numbers are encouraging - 16.3 points on 59.5 percent from the field, 6.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.0 blocks - but the sample is concerningly small. Still, the situation and the potential upside make Clarke a warranted selection near the end of standard fantasy drafts. He ranked only 160th in per-game production last season, but he ranked as high as 106th as a rookie seeing 22.4 minutes. It's still important to remember that elevated workload and usage will likely only last as long as Jackson is sidelined.

Memphis Grizzlies Depth Chart for 2022-23

Click ahead for a detailed Memphis Grizzlies Depth Chart

Memphis Grizzlies Predictions for 2022-23

Having a full season of Dillon Brooks will be nice, but Jaren Jackson's absence to start the year still looms large. Losing Kyle Anderson and De'Anthony Melton also robs Memphis of its seventh and eighth postseason minutes leaders -- key parts of the rotation. Are John Konchar, Brandon Clarke and the rookies ready to take on extra responsibilities?

Record Prediction

  • 50-32
  • 5-seed
  • Loses in first round

Bold Call

Ja Morant makes the All-NBA First Team

NBA Award Contenders

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's Chief NBA Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, VSiN and other platforms. He firmly believes Robert Covington is the most underrated fantasy player of the past decade.
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