A good run of bad luck has befallen the Memphis Grizzlies.
Memphis, who had the #2 overall lottery odds heading in to tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery, wound up tumbling down and will pick at #4 in the 2018 NBA Draft June 21st. This is far from ideal, of course - in a draft where most say there are two to three elite prospects, picking #4 is not as helpful. Even if you’re high on the upside of a Jaren Jackson Jr. or Michael Porter Jr., missing out on a chance at Luke Doncic and/or maybe Marvin Bagley III after such a prolonged stretch of...um...”developing young talent” (AKA tanking) is pretty disappointing.
So who could Memphis take? The aforementioned Jackson or Porter could fit, as could Mohamed Bamba, Trae Young, or even Bagley’s running mate at Duke Wendell Carter Jr. All these prospects have larger questions than Ayton or Doncic, however, and with the Grizzlies front office as currently constructed the odds of missing on this pick are far higher at #4 than they would have been at #2 or #1.
This fall from their probable spot in the top three (they had a 55.8% shot at being in that range before the lottery) also makes trading the pick far more likely than it was before this day began. Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers both have later lottery picks and/or young talent that the Grizzlies could be interested in, and the Phoenix Suns and Atlanta Hawks have later second 1st round picks and 2019 selections that Memphis may want considering they will likely not have their 2019 1st next season (thanks Jeff Green).
Those are just four possibilities. A lot more options, and a lot more chances to mess this up, are now on the table for the Memphis Grizzlies. But take heart Grizzlies fans - Memphis took Mike Conley #4 overall over a decade ago, and that has worked out just fine.
Stick with GBB throughout the next five weeks as we prepare for the 2018 NBA Draft, and join us in Memphis for our watch party on June 21st!