MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s the coming out party of sorts for new Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins as he leads the team into the first of two NBA Summer League excursions.
On Monday night, the Grizzlies opened play in the Salt Lake Summer League with the Utah Jazz.
This is an important summer for the Memphis franchise to get a look at Jenkins and how he reacts to his first NBA head coaching gig and to see which players step up to earn a spot with the G-League Memphis Hustle in Southaven or the big club at FedExForum.
Uta Watanbe has something to prove this summer. He split time with the Hustle and Grizzlies last season. Watanabe finished the night with 20 point and nine boards.
Julian Washburn, just released by the Griz, wants to stay in the association. He ended up with 20 points, 5 of 8 from downtown.
Ivan Rabb, another two-way player, finished with 14 points and a good defense.
Jenkins walked away with his first win leading the team to an 85-68 finish.
This is the first of three games in Salt Lake. The Grizzlies play San Antonio Tuesday at 6 before closing against Cleveland Wednesday.
The team also plays in the NBA Las Vegas Summer league beginning Saturday, July 6.