The Memphis Grizzlies’ chances at another 50+ win season (they have done it the last two) and to take a step forward toward title contention just took a serious blow.
Grizzlies center Steven Adams will miss the entire 2023-24 season due to knee surgery, the team announced on Sunday.
The PCL is the cousin to the ACL and while a more rare injury among basketball players it involves about the same amount of time off to recover following surgery. Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes broke it down.
Re: Steven Adams: The PCL crisscrosses behind its better-known counterpart the ACL & works primarily to prevent knee hyperextension. It also acts as the central axis for knee rotation. Isolated PCL tears are relatively rare w/ surgery resulting in substantial time lost.
— Jeff Stotts (@InStreetClothes) October 22, 2023
This is a blow to the Grizzlies. On defense, Adam’s presence in the paint allows Jaren Jackson Jr. to roam more and be the kind of shot blocker and disruptive force that won him Defensive Player of the Year. On offense, Adams is one of the league’s best screen setters and a problem on the glass. Adams’ impact could be seen in its absence in the playoffs last season when the Grizzlies were bounced by the Lakers in the first round.
The Grizzlies are already without Bradon Clarke, a very good backup center, who will miss most or all of the season following his Achilles tear.
Look for the Grizzlies to consider addressing the position long-term via a trade, ideally for a younger five. One option could be Robert Williams, who was traded from Boston to Portland in the Damian Lillard deal and is better than being a backup to Deandre Ayton. The concern with Williams is ongoing knee issues that limit his minutes, and it will be a high price tag to trade for him. Don’t be surprised if the Grizzlies also kick the tires on deals for more standard rotation bigs who can help, such as Isaiah Hartenstein or Daniel Theis. None of these are great options, however.
Losing Adams for the year is a blow to Memphis.