Forward Justise Winslow’s debut with the Memphis Grizzlies will be delayed until next season after he suffered a hip injury during Monday’s practice, the team announced.
The Grizzlies envisioned Winslow, 24, as an important part of their promising young core when they acquired him in a blockbuster trade from the Miami Heat in February. But Winslow has yet to play for the Grizzlies, who took a patient approach with his recovery from a back injury that limited him to 11 games with the Heat this season.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Winslow, who averaged 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game for the Heat last season, had been practicing with the Grizzlies and was on the verge of being cleared for game action when the NBA season was suspended.
Winslow addressed his situation on social media.
Last night during a scrimmage, I experienced a contact injury in my hip that unfortunately will keep me out until next season. I was excited to join my brothers on the court & will be supporting them throughout. I’m focused on coming back 100% towards a full recovery. pic.twitter.com/s4ds2CNSNC
Justise Winslow (@IAmJustise) July 21, 2020
The Grizzlies believed Winslow would benefit from having a training camp, held at the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus, to help him get comfortable with his new team. But he got injured during an intrasquad scrimmage Monday when he fell after absorbing contact, according to the team.
The Grizzlies announced that Winslow is expected to make a full recovery.
Memphis traded Andre Iguodala, who never played for the Grizzlies after being acquired in a summer salary dump from the Golden State Warriors, starting small forward Jae Crowder and reserve forward Solomon Hill to Miami in a three-team deal that brought Winslow to Memphis.
The Grizzlies valued Winslow enough to forfeit their summer financial flexibility in the deal. Memphis absorbed the salary of Dion Waiters (immediately released despite being owed $12.7 million next season) and backup center Gorgui Dieng, who is owed $17.3 million next season and landed in Memphis as part of the three-team trade, with former Miami forward James Johnson going to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Grizzlies project Winslow, the 10th overall pick of the 2015 draft, to fit as their starting small forward when healthy, seeing his athleticism and playmaking ability as complements to franchise cornerstones Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr.