The 2017-18 season was one of injury and disappointment for the Memphis Grizzlies.
After making the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons, the Grizzlies bottomed out, sinking to the second-worst record in the NBA (22-60), which resulted in coach David Fizdale losing his job.
However, count Grizzlies owner Robert Pera among those who believes Memphis will get off the canvas this season.
“Assuming Marc (Gasol) and Mike (Conley) come back healthy, I think we have a couple of surrounding pieces that are younger players that are going to make a positive impact,” Pera said, according to The Commercial Appeal. “We’ll get another good player in this draft. I see no reason why we can’t return to being a 50-win plus team.”
Conley, an Ohio State product and the Grizzlies’ starting point guard, played in only 12 games before having surgery to correct a heel problem that cost him most of the season.
With J.B. Bickerstaff now installed as head coach and owning the No. 4 and No. 32 overall picks in the June 21 draft at Barclays Center, Pera sees Memphis reverting back to prior form next season.
“In the NBA, there are some things you can control; there are some things you can’t control,” Pera said. “There’s some luck and chance involved, too. This year injuries set us back. … If we’re healthy, I expect us to be very competitive.”