'All signs point to' Grizzlies running it back with ex-Boston Celtics heart and soul

Memphis Grizzlies v San Antonio Spurs
Memphis Grizzlies v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

Beale Street Bears' Mark Nilon believes that all signs point to the Memphis Grizzlies running it back with the former heart and soul of the Boston Celtics franchise for nine years, Marcus Smart, for the 2024-25 season.

"At this point in time, all signs seem to point to the Grizzlies opting to run things back with Smart in tow, as they have yet to see what a fully healthy lineup consisting of him could look like for more than a handful of games," Nilon wrote.

The Grizzlies didn't have the season they would've hoped for, dropping from the No. 2 seed in 2022-23 to the eighth worst record in 2023-24, but there's still plenty of talent at the top of the depth chart. Supplementing the talented core of Ja Morant, Smart, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr. could bring this team back to relevance.

If things aren't working through the first half of the 2024-25 season, though, then an uncomfortable question needs to be asked...

Former Boston Celtics heart and soul Marcus Smart may not fit with Grizzlies

Perhaps Smart isn't a lineup fit in Memphis. Not alongside highly-compensated guards like Morant and Bane; who both stand under six-foot-five. Three-guard lineups can work with a sturdy defensive presence in the paint, but the Grizzlies traded exactly that when they shipped Steven Adams away this past trade deadline.

If Memphis can reacquire that type of post presence, continuing to rock with the Morant-Smart-Bane trio leaves little questions left to ask. But investing so much into the perimeter and leaving Jackson in the paint to fend for himself may not be winning formula.

Then again, the Grizzlies were 6-3 with Morant. Perhaps the problematic point guard is the answer and can change the narrative singlehandedly.

But if it doesn't come next February, Smart may just be the odd man out in Memphis.