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Can Justise Winslow unlock the Grizzlies’ potential?

Memphis added Winslow before the Trade Deadline and was expected to add him to the roster before the playoffs. How will his return impact their chances?

Justise Winslow of the Memphis Grizzlies poses for a portrait on February 11, 2020 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies are one of the most surprising teams still in the hunt for an NBA title. While the season going on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic has helped the teams on the outside looking in increase their championship odds, the Grizzlies have reinforcements on the way.

Memphis got nothing from Andre Iguodala — who was acquired from the Golden State Warriors via trade over the offseason before refusing to play for the Grizzlies — this season before trading him to the Miami Heat, but they did get quality young prospect in Justise Winslow on the backend. Winslow’s true position is still being determined. The oft-injured utility player stands 6’7”, excels as a distributor, and can defend multiple positions. While he’s only notched 11 appearances this season because of a back injury, he’s been cleared to play for the first time since January and can help a young Grizzlies team attempt to hold off the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, and a host of other Western Conference teams looking to extend their seasons.

Ja Morant is the rookie point guard that makes Memphis go, but complementary pieces are needed alongside Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Clarke, and Jonas Valanciunas. Kyle Anderson is the weak link in the starting lineup, so that might be where Winslow fits in best. He can act as a secondary or tertiary facilitator for a team that already ranks second in assists per game ( 27.0).

There’s not telling if Winslow will operate as a point guard or wing, or even if he’ll play heavy minutes after taking so much time off to recover. However, his level of involvement down the stretch could help Memphis raise its title odds from +25000.

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