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Grizzlies could get creative with top pick

Memphis could draft a potential cornerstone in the top three, or...

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

I have a suggestion.

Well, its more of some good ol’ Memphis BBQ food for thought. Take this suggestion as a maneuver to get the best out of a terrible season that we all just suffered through.

The Grizzlies are likely receiving a top three pick and have almost a 20% chance to land the top pick. As much as anyone, I am hopeful that this pick turns out to be a franchise cornerstone. There are some impactful players in the top of the 2018 NBA Draft, but as I’ve stated before, there are also some red flags to be aware of. The Grizzlies do not need another big man, just look at this season and you will see that having a roster overloaded with big men is not a good recipe.

It is likely one (or more) of those young bigs will be traded or cut to free up space and create a more balanced roster. But realize that not ALL of them will be gone, and there will still be big guys that will demand playing time and have a decent amount of experience. Adding another raw rookie to that equation just doesn’t make sense to me.

Buffalo v Arizona Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

So here is my grand suggestion - The Grizzlies could trade down in the draft to a team that is still in the top 10 of picks, but can add another player (or two) to sweeten the deal. This would basically be a two (or three)-for-one trade: a current player included in the trade along with whoever the pick ends up being. If the Grizzlies are quietly rebuilding, what better way to get the biggest bang for your buck than to get a package deal.

The likely top picks in this year’s draft are big men, which I don’t see the Grizzlies having a need of, so trading down opens up the possibility of drafting a guard, preferably a shooter, and grabbing a forward from another team.

Of course, there are some variables to this deal that have to work out in Memphis’ favor. Most importantly, the Grizzlies have to have a top three pick for this to work. There is a 55.8% chance that the top three pick falls to Memphis, but that leaves a 44.2% chance that it doesn’t. The higher the pick, the more enticing it looks to the rest of the league, naturally. (A number one overall pick could potentially bring in two players plus the pick.)

Another important factor is that the other teams that end up in the top-10 have to have a player in the package deal worth trading for. This also leads me to the third variable: the Grizzlies will have to trade away players to free up cap space if they are going to take anyone else. Memphis does not have much space to make offseason additions (an understatement), so in order to complete a trade with players involved, the roster would have to be trimmed.

Teams with top 10 picks are in that position for a reason, they are like Memphis, the rosters are not well constructed and likely void of top talent. With that said, if you look at the teams with the best odds of landing in the top 10, many of them were in the same position last season. With young guys, specifically guards, that will look to make their mark in this league, Memphis could be a perfect landing spot.

There’s no question that its exciting to think of a landing the top pick and the possibility of what next season could be. But if you really consider how the investment in the tank could bring in the most return, trading down could be the most valuable transaction. The pick could be worth more to a team that is in desperate need of an offensive center (which the Grizzlies are not). With that said, I am not suggesting the trade should land Memphis out of the top-10. This year’s draft is very top heavy and the pick is still valuable enough to keep barring a superstar being offered for it.

The countdown to the draft has finally started. The Grizzlies were out-tanked by Phoenix, but there is still hope of landing the top pick. Memphis could use some serious creativity with whatever pick the team ends up with, but let’s not hold our breath until the lottery: there is still about three weeks left until the ping pong balls start bouncing.

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