With the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline passing by, many teams changed their landscape. Some switched superstars, others got small buffs to their team in time for the postseason. However, many stood by their current roster and made no changes. One such team is the Memphis Grizzlies, and it is easy to see why. They are third in the Western Conference with a 40-18 record and have possible dark-horse MVP candidate in Ja Morant.

However, even the best teams can still get better in some areas. For the Grizzlies, that is shooting. Not getting another reliable 3-point threat will prove to be the Grizzlies’ biggest mistake at the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline.

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Grizzlies’ biggest 2022 NBA Trade Deadline mistake 

Once again, it is worth reiterating that the Grizzlies, on paper, do not need much help. Ja Morant is averaging 26.4 points, 6.8 assists and 5.9 rebounds while shooting a crisp 49.3% from the field. He is joined by Desmond Bane, who is averaging 17.8 points on 41.5% shooting from behind the arc. Dillon Brooks is injured right now, but he is averaging 18.4 points per contest for the Grizzlies. Morant's supporting cast is extended to Jaren Jackson Jr, Steven Adams, and Brandon Clarke, to name a few.

Yet, an interesting thing pops out when looking over their stats this season. Among the players who are shooting at least two 3-point attempts per game, the Grizzlies only have two players shooting over 35% from downtown. They are the aforementioned Bane, who is shooting a great percentage while also having almost seven attempts per game, and Tyus Jones, who is shooting 35.7%, albeit on just 2.5 attempts per contest. For a team that is ready to contend this season, these are not great indicators.

As a team, the situation also does not look too good. While they have the sixth-fastest pace in the league, according to Basketball Reference, and lead the league in field goal attempts per game, the Grizzlies are abysmal from deep. They have the fourth-fewest makes, sixth-fewest attempts, and rank just 22nd in the league in 3-point percentage. When we look at past NBA champions, especially since the revolution that the Golden State Warriors brought in 2014-15, they have been full of capable shooters. Of course, there are outliers, like the 2020 Los Angeles Lakers, which focused on the one-two punch of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but even they had six players shooting over 37% from 3 on more than two attempts per game.

Of course, an argument can be made that the Grizzlies simply play a different brand of basketball, and that is true. This team is relying heavily on drives by Ja Morant and his ability to get easy points in the paint. After all, the Grizzlies are league leaders in points in the paint with 57.3 per game. However, when the playoffs come, the opposition can scout out the team and specifically make defensive plays to stop their points of attack. If they used some of their resources to bring in a shooter or two, they would have diversified their attack and made it harder for opponents to target them.

Granted, the options were fairly limited. Not many great shooters were in positions to change teams, with the obvious exception of Seth Curry, who was dealt in the blockbuster deal between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets. However, the Grizzlies could have gone for someone like Davis Bertans, before the Dallas Mavericks pulled the trigger for him and Spencer Dinwiddie for Kristaps Porzingis. The Latvian forward is having a poor season, shooting 31.6% from behind the arc, but he could have turned it around with more trust being put in him. Playing for subpar teams can be demoralizing, and there is the fact of Bertans playing much better in the last two seasons for the Washington Wizards.

One more option the Grizzlies could have gone for is Gary Harris of the Orlando Magic. He could end up being bought out by the struggling Florida franchise, but he was worth exploring for some level of draft capital. He has found his shooting touch again while in Orlando, knocking down 38.1% on 4.9 attempts per game this season. He improved in that regard from last season, but even the 36.4% clip from last season with the Magic would be a great option to have for the Grizzlies. He is also an expiring deal, so the Grizzlies would have been getting an essentially risk-free investment with Harris.

Regardless of all the things said here, not moving at the trade deadline could be a great thing for the Grizzlies. They are an up-and-coming team and they have great chemistry, and trades do have a tendency to bring that into question. However, not improving their outside threats could be very costly in the postseason. The Grizzlies might be doing great in the regular season, but in the playoffs, not getting any help in a bleeding segment of their squad now could prove to be their biggest mistake at the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline.