The NBA offseason is already super crazy. Paul George is leaving Indiana, probably sooner rather than later. The Celtics traded the #1 overall selection in Thursday’s NBA Draft to the Philadelphia 76ers. Meanwhile, all is quiet in Memphis. This isn’t overly surprising, considering that the Grizzlies are capped out and...oh yeah...they don’t currently have a selection in the draft proceedings a few nights from now. All the more reason to continue to nap through the early parts of the NBA offseason...right?
Last week I outlined how Memphis could find their way into draft night. You can read the whole article here, but the general idea is that the Grizzlies have enough minor assets (multiple future second round picks, Brandan Wright’s team-friendly contract, etc.) to perhaps get into this year’s second round, if not the first. Memphis GM Chris Wallace and the front office team should be working the phones between now and the end of the draft Thursday night trying to acquire a young talent.
But what kind of young talent? Someone who can create their own shot would be nice, a wing with size and a little bit of handle. But what really should be the priority when trading into a draft to find a potential (hopefully) future Marc Gasol or Mike Conley? And what kind of trade would it take to even get a ticket to the draft dance?
Here are a couple fun possibilities. This is not based on any rumor or source. It’s solely an exercise in possibilities.
The Early Second Rounder
Grizzlies trade Jarell Martin, 2018 Charlotte Hornets 2nd round pick to Philadelphia 76ers for #39 overall.
Feels relatively possible, right? Philly will have already made two selections in the draft and has two other 2nd rounders beyond #39 overall. Meanwhile, Memphis really wouldn’t be giving up too much to get into the draft - Martin still may wind up being something, but with the likely investment in JaMychal Green (as long as a team like Brooklyn or Minnesota doesn’t go crazy) and the return of Zach Randolph making too much sense, the front court is super crowded.
Who could be available here for the Grizzlies? A player like Josh Hart of Villanova, who like Malcolm Brogdon a year ago is probably already close to a finished product but is a darn good basketball player, could perhaps help fill the potential void left by Vince Carter and/or Tony Allen’s departure. He is a high-character player according to NBADraft.net, which would fit in well in Memphis, and he’s more prepared to compete now, which the Grizzlies need.
Other potential targets would be Dwayne Bacon of Florida State or Dillon Brooks of Oregon, two other physically prepared players who can potentially handle and defend multiple wing positions, and Sindarius Thornwell of South Carolina, a tough wing who prides himself on his abilities as a defender.
The Late First Rounder
Memphis sends Brandan Wright, a 2018 2nd round pick from Miami, and a 2019 2nd round pick from Brooklyn to Brooklyn for #27 overall.
The Grizzlies, who have Deyonta Davis waiting in the wings as a backup center, send the talented but oft-injured Wright to Brooklyn after the Nets already make a selection at #23 overall. Memphis would be able to perhaps take advantage of a dropping talent like they did last year with their selection of Davis. Could a Justin Jackson of North Carolina still be there at #27? A 6’11” wingspan on a 6’8” wing who can shoot the rock and is also the reigning ACC Player of the Year is surely enticing, but Davis was projected as a lottery-esque talent and he took a tumble. Getting in this spot makes Memphis able to take advantage once again potentially.
Other possibilities would be Tyler Lydon of Syracuse (think Chandler Parsons lite but with healthier knees) and Terrance Ferguson, who chose to skip college and play overseas for a year but has shown real potential as a good-to-great spot up shooter according to draftexpress.com.
Memphis needs to target players who can create for themselves and others offensively, but could also benefit from simply adding hungry, young players who could play right away. The latter should be available in the second round, whereas the Grizzlies may have to get to the end of the first round to find the former. Whether or not a player is included in any deal, Memphis would be wise to use the multiple second round picks they have in future drafts to slide into this one.
Stay with Grizzly Bear Blues all week and offseason long as we continue to cover a complicated process for the Memphis Grizzlies as they try to find ways to improve their roster.