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#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

Grizzlies holding out top rookies Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke for maintenance

Ja Morant

The Memphis Grizzlies appear to be taking load management a step further.

Michael Wallace of the team’s website reported that top rookies Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke, who were ruled out of Saturday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, are sitting as part of a maintenance effort. Wallace said that the Grizzlies are taking a collaborative approach with training and performance staff as well as the front office and that the league was aware of the approach.

Memphis is currently on the second end of a back-to-back, part of a series of four games in six days. Clarke has also been battling back soreness with his absence listed as due to “injury maintenance.” Meanwhile, Morant, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, is not dealing with any known injury.

The Grizzlies are far from the only team implementing such measures — for one, the Mavs themselves are also sitting Kristaps Porzingis on Saturday (albeit a player in his first full season back from a torn ACL). But resting their two top rookies for maintenance purposes can’t create a good look for the league, especially with all the controversy over load management lately.

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