Grizzlies Owner Robert Pera: 'I See No Reason' Why Memphis Can't Be 50-Win Team

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2018

MEMPHIS, TN - OCTOBER 26:  Marc Gasol #33 and Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies high five during the game against the Dallas Mavericks on October 26, 2017 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Memphis Grizzlies controlling owner Robert Pera said Tuesday he believes the team can bounce back to win 50 games during the 2018-19 NBA campaign after recording just 22 victories this past season.

Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal passed along comments Pera made to Grind City Media about his outlook at the franchise's first playoff-less season since 2009-10.

"Assuming Marc [Gasol] and Mike [Conley] come back healthy, I think we have a couple of surrounding pieces that are younger players that are going to make a positive impact," he said. "We'll get another good player in this draft. I see no reason why we can't return to being a 50-win-plus team."

Gasol played in 73 of the team's 82 regular-season games, but he did deal with a groin injury late in the year.

Conley appeared in just 12 contests because of Achilles and heel injuries.

While the star point guard's absence played a major role in Memphis' struggles, the roster also lacks the necessary depth to seriously contend in a loaded Western Conference led by the two-time reigning champion Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.

The Grizzlies do own the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. That will be enough to add one of the class' most coveted prospects, a group that includes Arizona center Deandre Ayton, Duke power forward Marvin Bagley III, Real Madrid shooting guard Luka Doncic and Oklahoma point guard Trae Young.

It's unclear whether that will be enough to push the Grizz back into the postseason, but Pera is hopeful the luck will fall their way next season, per Tillery.

"In the NBA there are some things you can control; there are some things you can't control," Pera said. "There's some luck and chance involved, too. This year injuries set us back. ... If we're healthy, I expect us to be very competitive."

For what it's worth, OddsShark noted Memphis is tied for the highest odds to win the 2019 NBA title at 500-1.

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