Grizzlies rookies Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke will sit out vs. Mavs
The Memphis Grizzlies will be without rookie sensation Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke during their matchup with the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, according to Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian.
Morant is out for “rest,” and Clarke for “injury maintenance” in regard to the back soreness that’s had him on the team’s medical report for much of the past week.
It’s important to note that Morant is not actually injured and the Grizzlies are trying to keep him fresh to ‘maximize player impact and growth’ for the duration of a full season.
Per a team source, these decisions — as well as the general early season minutes management of Morant and center Jonas Valanciunas — came in the context of a larger organizational plan to maximize player impact and growth over the course of an 82-game season, with recommendations from the team’s sports medicine/training staff discussed between head coach Taylor Jenkins and the front office.
The Grizzlies’ rationale for sitting Clarke was due to the ‘injury management’ similar to how the Los Angeles Clippers are handling Kawhi Leonard’s situation. The Mavs are sitting Kristaps Porziņģis for this matchup for the same reason.
Clarke’s situation is more akin to Leonard’s as an injury management situation. The decision to play Clarke in Orlando but sit him at home was a determination based on travel and scheduling, per a team source.
NBA teams play a long season and it is reasonable to understand why there would be a plan to try to keep their players fresh and avoid injury. However, it’s also reasonable for fans