NBA historians will look back on this day as day one (or day zero?) of the Jaren Jackson Jr. era in Memphis. This is the day that Marc Gasol was traded to the Raptors, breaking up the iconic Gasol/Conley duo that had endured for a decade. This is the day that the Grizzlies moved on from their old core and established a new core. This is the day that JJJ scored 27 points in his first game as the confirmed franchise centerpiece going forward.
Now my question is: are there any CORE members on the Grizzlies besides Jackson? Mike Conley obviously doesn’t count, as he’s too old to be a CORE member. He’ll be on a serious downswing by the time the Grizzlies are ready to compete again. Jonas Valanciunas, the biggest piece that the Grizzlies got back from the Gasol trade, is young enough to be a CORE member, so I’m going to go ahead and include him even though is synergy with JJJ is not proven (playing a non-shooting PF with a non-shooting C is not the trend in today’s NBA). But the rest of the roster is just randos and scrubs and Joakim Noah. The closest thing they might have to a third CORE member is Bruno Caboclo, a concept which would have been preposterous just three weeks ago.
Call me a pessimist, but that’s not a great core or even a good core unless its components do a lot of development. The Grizzlies might be stinking it up for a few years before they’re good again. And the whole time, Chandler Parsons will be watching from his couch at home, collecting checks and wondering what happened to the big three of Gasol/Conley/Parsons.