The Memphis Grizzlies find themselves in the middle of a huge mess. The team enters Monday having lost 11 straight games — the longest streak in the NBA — and is mired in 13th place in the Western Conference with a 7-15 record. Mike Conley, the team’s star point guard, has missed significant time with Achilles soreness, and is still at least a week away from returning.
Oh, and the Grizzlies shockingly fired their coach, David Fizdale, a week ago, after his relationship with his other star, Marc Gasol, passed the point of no return when Fizdale benched him in the fourth quarter of a home loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace, however, told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon in the wake of Fizdale’s firing that Memphis has no intention of starting a full-scale rebuild, despite the ominous situation the franchise finds itself in.
“We have no intention to trade Marc,” Wallace said. “We never seriously considered that at all. We never placed any calls to any teams in that regard. So that’s not happening.
“It’s not just Marc that this whole equation is about. It’s also Mike Conley, when he comes back. We’ve got two guys among the elite in the league at their respective positions that are still very much in their window with an awful lot of tread left on their tires.”
In his role at ESPN, MacMahon follows several Western Conference teams, including the Mavericks, Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz. The latest episode of “Posting Up,” The Washington Post’s NBA podcast, took advantage of MacMahon’s knowledge by picking his brain about each of the West’s interesting teams.
The conversation began with the Grizzlies, discussing MacMahon’s story about Wallace and the overall dysfunction in Memphis at the moment. That includes another subject MacMahon has followed closely — Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons, who has outperformed expectations this season, despite being little more than a role player on a max contract.
Other topics included: Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr., and how Dallas will approach what could be an interesting summer in free agency; the complete tire fire that is the Clippers, with the job security of Coach Doc Rivers and potential DeAndre Jordan trades being debated; how the Utah Jazz have survived with Rudy Gobert sidelined, as well as the impressive play of rookie guard Donovan Mitchell; how the Houston Rockets have perfectly blended Chris Paul into their system while allowing James Harden to continue putting up monster numbers; and the problems facing the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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