Steven Adams is one of the most effective screen setters in the league and was a key player in Grizzlies’ stint for majority of the 2022–2023 season, averaging 11.5 rebounds, 8.6 points, and 2.3 assists per game. However, his run last season was cut short when he sustained a PCL sprain in his right knee in the thrilling January 22 bout against the Suns.

Consequently, Adams ended his season prematurely, having played in only 42 games and being sidelined for the remainder of the season. During that time, the Grizzlies were in a shaky position because, in addition to losing Adams and becoming less effective at collecting rebounds, they also played without guard Ja Morant, who was absent after being caught with a gun in an Instagram live video, and backup center Brandon Clarke, who had an Achilles injury.

Playoffs without Adams

Heading into the playoffs, and Adams was still nowhere to be found. Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news on X, writing, “Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams is likely to miss the postseason with his injured right knee. Adams, who underwent a stem cell injection a month ago, has been out with a PCL sprain since late January.”

In an effort to stabilize their team, Shams Charania reported that the Grizzlies signed two-way rookie forward Kenneth Lofton Jr. to a four-year, $7 million contract.

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Via Charania: The Grizzlies are signing two-way F/C Kenny Lofton Jr. to a standard NBA contract, making the G League Rookie of the Year eligible for the playoffs, sources tell @TheAthletic@Stadium. Lofton averaged 20.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 4 assists for the Grizzlies’ Hustle affiliate.

The Athletics reported back in April that Adams was on the verge of having one of his finest seasons to date, had it not been for his injury.

Adams’ hiatus continues to 2023-2024 season

Adams was given the green light during training camp and even played twice for the Grizzlies during the preseason, tallying nine points and 10 rebounds in a total of 27 minutes, per ESPN.

“He’s looked great,” Kennard said of Adams during the scrimmages. “He’s done everything. Every drill, all the scrimmages and he’s been dominant down low. He looks good to me.”

The Grizzlies placed 9th in the preseason standings in the western conference with three wins and two losses, as per Fox Sports.

With Adams back on the team, Jackson Jr. and Bane filling in for the suspended Morant, and Rose performing well as the starting offense in place of Smart, things were looking good for the Grizzlies so far.

However, the Grizzlies were met with another challenge just a few days before the regular season starts.

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On Sunday, Charania and Wojnarowski both announced the news on X that Adams will undergo season-ending surgery for a knee injury. The Grizzlies PR’s official X also posted a medical update regarding Adams’ situation:

“Grizzlies Center Steven Adams will undergo season-ending surgery on his right posterior cruciate ligament, after non-operative rehabilitation did not resolve ongoing knee instability. Adams is expected to make a full recovery ahead of next season.”

With Adams officially out for the season, Morant still on suspension, and Clarke still recuperating from his Achilles injury, the Grizzlies’ roster is still relatively thin heading into the season.

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