I really like Kevin Durant.
No really, I actually do. Sure, he may have upset the competitive balance of the NBA when he went to Golden State, but I can respect someone who is willing to step out of their comfort zone to achieve greatness. As a basketball and NBA connoisseur, I also enjoy greatness in all of its forms, including the “seven-foot positionless scoring champion who has better handles than most guards” variety.
As you can probably imagine, I also really like Michael Porter Jr.
Of course, Porter may still have lingering back issues, which has been reported over the last couple of days. He very well could become a bust who never lived up to his incredible potential because of injury. On the other hand, he could become the superstar scoring wing that the Grizzlies have always desired. And it’s that tantalizing potential that has the Grizzlies apparently enthralled with him. It’s just too bad that there is a very real possibility that the Sacramento Kings will take him with their 2nd pick.
And unfortunately, the Kings or Atlanta Hawks may also take Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley, or any other player that the Grizzlies have at the top of their board.
Here is the ugly truth to remember in the week before the draft: The Memphis Grizzlies have their hands tied. They may very well be able to still get an All-Star caliber player or even the best player in the draft with the 4th pick as I said a month ago. Nevertheless, they are still at the mercy of whatever the Kings and Hawks decide to do with their picks (assuming the Phoenix Suns take DeAndre Ayton #1). Considering that the Grizzlies really have no viable assets for it, moving up into the top three is not an option.
However, it’s not just the Grizzlies who are helpless; everyone connected to the team is as well—the fans, the blog boys, and everyone else in Memphis.
We as a community can continue to argue whether Michael Porter’s potential outweighs his medical risk, or how Luka Doncic is a perfect fit with the Grizzlies, or whether Marvin Bagley III can dominate in the NBA like he did at Duke, or if Jaren Jackson Jr. is more of a good basketball player in theory than he is in reality.
But the truth of the matter is that the player we may be most passionate about very well may not be on the board for the Grizzlies once they are on the clock. And try as we might to speculate about it, we simply will not know anything concrete until the Hawks make their pick.
All things considered, Memphis’ lack of luck on lottery night has placed them in a helpless position where they need at least one of two things to happen: Either the Suns, Kings, or Hawks make a “curious choice”/mistake and allow one of the best players in the draft to fall to four; OR, there happens to be more than three generational stars in this draft, which is unlikely.
Again, I really like Michael Porter Jr. The Memphis Grizzlies appear to as well. Unfortunately, it will not matter in the end if someone ahead of them likes him—or whomever the Grizzlies have at the top of their board—more.
But we shouldn’t worry about it. No matter what happens, I am sure the Grizzlies will find success on draft night just like they always have*.
*so much sarcasm that my eyes rolled to the back of my head