Decisions loom for Grizzlies team looking to return to postseason

MEMPHIS – On Monday, we heard from all the key pieces of what we’re all hoping is a huge bounce back season for the Grizzlies.

We heard from Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane.

We heard from head coach Taylor Jenkins and general manager Zach Kleiman.

But there were a few players missing. Players whose future in the Beale Street Blue remains in question.

Ziaire Williams missed the Grizzlies final 21 games of the year with a hip flexor.

Then there’s Jake Laravia, one of the guys who made the most of all the injuries to play well, especially late. In his last three games, Laravia scored 29, 28 and a career high 32 against the Cavaliers. A first round pick in 2022, Laravia has struggled to stay healthy and play up to expectations but he remains confident in what he can bring to the Grizzlies, moving forward.

“I’m a confident player. I’ve always been a confident player. I play regardless of what anyone else thinks about how my rookie season went or anything like that,” Laravia said. “Shots either go in or they don’t. They’ve been falling lately and as you know, as a player, it’s easy for me to see that and continue to build off that. Like I said, I’m in a higher role right now with more usage and stuff like that. So I’m just playing more freely and yeah, I’m also getting more comfortable.”

Also noticeably absent from the final media session of the year, Luke Kennard as he and the Grizzlies are heading toward a crossroads.

While Kennard is still one of the league’s best three-point shooters, he, like many of the Grizzlies, dealt with injuries this year that limited him to just 39 games. The team also has to consider if he’s worth the almost 15 million dollars he’s set to make on a team option this upcoming season.

“Luke is someone we continue to feel strongly about. Someone who we, of course, brings a skill set that I think is important for this team and important in this NBA,” said Grizzlies General Manager Zach Kleiman. “Have decisions to make on him that we’ll make, coming up.”

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