Deadline day deals critical to Grizzlies’ championship window

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MEMPHIS – I know it doesn’t look like it this year with the injuries that have sidelined this team’s best players, but the Grizzlies remain committed to bringing an NBA title to Memphis.

Zach Kleiman saying on Friday that all the decisions made at the NBA Trade deadline were meant to give this team and its talented core, the best chance to do just that.

Kleiman speaking for the first time since the Grizzlies traded away Steven Adams, Xavier Tillman and David Roddy.  Three trades that provided much needed flexibility for what Kleiman believes is a championship window that’s now open for the Grizzlies, heading into a huge offseason and an even bigger 2024-25 season.

“In terms of what we’re certainly focused on and I think, I would imagine the fans care about as well is how are we putting the team in a position to go out and compete at the highest level of the NBA next year and beyond,” Kleiman said.  “With this young core that we have with Ja, Jaren and Dez. We’ve been really intrigued by Marcus Smart’s fit. We want to be in a position where we have flexibility, whether it’s draft or trade, to put this team in a position to go out and really compete. I think it’s a window of contention that the age of our key guys, beginning to enter their prime, we’re excited to do everything we can to capitalize on it.”

While the focus is building around Morant, Jackson and Bane, Kleiman is also enamored with a number of this team’s even younger pieces, especially rookie forward GG Jackson.

So enamored in fact that the Grizzlies have now signed Jackson to his first NBA contract, moving him off his two way deal with a reported four year contract.

This coming on the same day Jackson scored a career high 27 points against the Bulls.

“My dad told me a prepared person isn’t a scared person, so I just try to do things the same as I can, and I just try to be as professional as possible,” Jackson said.

It was a meeting with Kleiman, and not a good one that really got Jackson focused on being a pro.

“Earlier in the year, I had a meeting with Zach because I had got fined. I think, like it was like my fourth one in like two months. Oh, yes. Oh yes. It was bad,” Jackson recollected.  “He gave me the rundown and everything and since then, I’ve been on my P’s and Q’s. I feel like those off the court things also translate into on court performance.”

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