This week, the Memphis Grizzlies will officially return to the hardwood in exhibition fashion as they will partake in three scrimmages leading up to the season’s restart on July 31st against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Since the Grizzlies arrived in Orlando on July 8th, we’ve been hearing nothing but positive news from the Grizzlies and their coaching staff. In yesterday’s media availability, Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins mentioned that all 17 guys were full participants in Monday morning’s practice.
Jenkins is looking at giving players as many opportunities as possible. With 17 players it can be a challenge - he specifically mentioned getting Justise Winslow integrated in to the rotation.— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) July 13, 2020
Yes, all 17 guys, which would include Grayson Allen and Jontay Porter - two players that were out indefinitely due to injury coming into the season’s suspension.
Allen, who injured his hip in a middle of January, was rumored to be out for the season before COVID-19 suspended the campaign. Flash forward ahead, and Allen has had almost seven full months of recovery time that normally he wouldn’t have had.
Before the Allen’s hip injury, he was playing in limited minutes when he did play (17.4), while averaging 7.4 points per game. If Allen is indeed a full participant, the Grizzlies will have a three-and-D wing ready off the bench — one that was one of the NBA’s best second units.
The next guy that should be ready to go, if Memphis were to need his skills, would be Jontay Porter out of Missouri. The younger brother of Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., Jontay is looking to make his debut in the NBA. Coming off of back-to-back ACL injuries — which led to him being undrafted — the Grizzlies signed Porter before the season suspended to a two-year deal with a team option after this season.
Porter is a low risk, high reward guy. A five star recruit out of high school, Porter is a player that, when healthy, could be a spark off the Grizzlies bench. Averaging 9.9 points per game and 6.8 rebounds a game in college, Porter is the perfect big man for the modern NBA.
One thing that benefits the Grizzlies is, Porter had a team option at the end of this season, and Memphis wouldn’t have seen him on the floor. Due to the suspension, Porter will be seen in practice at the very least. The Grizzlies will now have until October 17th at 3:00 P.M. to make a decision on his option. With this restart, they now have plenty of time to see Porter perform on a NBA court before making their decision.
Even with Porter being available, it will be interesting to see how much run he will get given the depth of the Grizzlies roster. The scrimmages will give Porter the opportunity to get some reps in with that second unit well before the October 17th deadline.
How Grayson Allen will be worked back into the second unit rotation, and how Jontay Porter performs in the next two weeks, will be two things to watch as Memphis reboots their 2019-20 season in Orlando.
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