The Memphis Grizzlies have become a model of consistency for much of the past decade. However, the blue-collared team has not had a ton of postseason success. Despite reaching the playoffs for multiple seasons, they have not made much headway in the Western Conference.
The Grizzlies’ relative lack of success in reaching later rounds of the playoffs has led many to speculate that the team would be better off blowing it up and launching a full-scale rebuild. That the Grizzlies allowed Zach Randolph, Vince Carter, and (more than likely) Tony Allen to walk accelerated those discussions.
However, it does not appear as though Memphis is ready to entirely give up on the Grit and Grind era. According to CBS Sports’ Matt Moore, the Grizzlies their two franchise cornerstones – Marc Gasol and Mike Conley – “untouchable” in any trade talks:
The Memphis Grizzlies consider All-Star center Marc Gasol “untouchable” and have refused to enter his name in any trade conversations, two sources close to the situation told CBS Sports this week. Gasol has been the subject of rampant speculation this summer that he could be dealt, despite being just two years into a five-year max contract signed in 2015 that doesn’t make him eligible for free agency until 2019.
Typically, the idea that Gasol could be available stems from the perception that Memphis has lost momentum and “needs” a rebuild. The Grizzlies, in reality, have made the playoffs the past seven years, and their decision to re-sign both Gasol and Mike Conley (who is also considered “untouchable” according to sources) was made with the intention of building around the duo long-term.
Both Gasol and Conley are approaching the end of their primes, at least as far as their ages go. But both are still incredibly impactful players and as long as the Grizzlies have that duo leading them, they should be a playoff team.
The Grizzlies understand what this era of the team means to the city, even if it has not brought home a championship. While the goal is still to win a title, there’s a lot of reasons to want to keep Conley and Gasol in town for the foreseeable future and perhaps for their entire careers.