Grizzlies projected lineup and rotations heading into 2023-24 season

Mar 3, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) looks on during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) looks on during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA rumors
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Memphis Grizzlies have finished the last two seasons with the second seed in the Western Conference and made changes this offseason. Here is their projected lineup for next season. 

The Memphis Grizzlies‘ fortunes changed the moment they drafted Ja Morant. In his first two seasons, the Grizzlies would make the play-in and would make the playoffs as the eighth seed in 2021. Then for the last two seasons, the Grizzlies finished as the second seed both times with a record of 56-26 in 2022 and a record of 51-31 this past season.

This team was full of exciting young players who liked to talk a lot of trash even though they never really accomplished anything. This past season, the Grizzlies dealt with a bunch of different issues that would lead them to lose in the first round of the playoffs to the seventh-seed Los Angeles Lakers.

In the offseason, the Grizzlies made some major changes to their lineup. The biggest changes came from adding veteran leadership to this young but still very inexperienced team. Here is their projected lineup for the 2023-24 season.

Memphis Grizzlies starting point guard: Ja Morant

Despite all of the off-the-court issues that Ja Morant has suffered over the last year, he is still one of the best players in the game. Last season, Morant averaged 26.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and 1.1 steals on 47/31/75 shooting splits.

Morant’s on-the-court presence is crucial for the success of the Grizzlies because his ability to score in the paint at will and elite playmaking ability allows everyone else on the team to succeed. He is hard to double when he’s in the paint because he is surrounded by some of the best shooters in the game.

Morant’s lack of immaturity will have an impact on this team to start the season. After having multiple incidents over the last year involving guns, Morant has been suspended for the first 25 games this season. The Grizzlies have been successful when Morant hasn’t been in the lineup but there is a chance his missing this time will largely impact the Grizzlies for the remainder of the season.

If Morant can learn from his mistakes and heal over these incidents, he will provide a great kick for this team when he is able to be the full-time starting point guard when he returns from his suspension.

Grizzlies primary backup point guard: Marcus Smart

The 2022 Defensive Player of the Year is one of the newest additions to this Grizzlies team, replacing Tyus Jones as the backup point guard. Last season for the Celtics, Marcus Smart averaged 11.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.5 steals on 42/34/75 shooting split, starting every game.

Smart will be the starting point guard during Morant’s suspension and he is more than serviceable as the starting point guard. Even though his scoring is inefficient at times, Smart is still a solid playmaker and phenomenal defender.

Smart is giving the Grizzlies Defensive Player of the Year caliber defense, solid playmaking, and great leadership. Smart was known for having leadership ability which this Memphis team desperately needs.

When Morant is able to be back in the starting lineup, Smart will be one of the best backup guards in the league. Smart will have a huge impact on this team on and off the court.

Others who could receive minutes: Derrick Rose

While Morant is suspended Derrick Rose will act as the backup point guard for the Grizzlies. Last season with the Knicks, Rose was benched the moment Tom Thibodeau went to the nine-man rotation but in his 27 games, he averaged 5.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists on 38/30/91 splits.

As Rose gets older and when Morant comes back, Rose’s minutes will decrease and he will serve the role of being a veteran leader. With all of the Grizzlies off-the-court issues last season Rose is as perfect for this as he was with the Knicks last season. Rose’s play style from his prime is shockingly similar to Morant’s. He should be a great role model to Morant as well.