David Fizdale is out as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. Assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff is, for the meantime, in.
Figuring out what this means for the Grizzlies' future takes a couple leaps of faith. It doesn't seem to signify a teardown. Fizdale's removal comes following a 2-11 stretch and some feisty comments from Marc Gasol, one of the franchise's two primary cornerstones. Ousting the head coach reeks of an attempt to incite change for the sake of galvanizing the troops.
And what else could it be? The Grizzlies don't have the assets to launch an ideal rebuilding effort. Gasol and Mike Conley are their only meaningful trade assets, and neither of them is yielding a hot collection of picks and prospects at his respective price point.
Then again, the Grizzlies are 7-12, their playoff hopes fading fast. If they're still struggling to get their heads above water and/or stay healthy by January, it'll be time for a wholesale pivot—time to test the trade market on both Gasol and Conley and whoever else holds value outside Memphis.
Was firing Fizdale the right move? Will the Grizzlies re-insert themselves into the playoff conversation? Which teams could become suitors for Conley and Gasol if they don't? What does Memphis' long-term cap situation look like?
Answers to all these piping-hot questions precede an extensive mailbag that covers everything from Rodney Hood and Lonzo Ball, to hypothetical Cleveland Cavaliers trades and the Boston Celtics offense, to the Oklahoma City Thunder's malaise and Andre Drummond's reinvention.
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