...or our worst nightmares becoming reality.
It’s sounds overly dramatic, because it is, but in all seriousness one of the most important nights in Memphis Grizzlies franchise history is nearly upon us. Rumors are flying, medical reports are swirling, and everyone is trying to completely destroy the Grizzlies in Chandler Parsons trades.
To help me try to break down the best and worst case scenarios for the upcoming festivities, I have brought with me some of GBB’s best for our latest roundtable. Joining me are GBB Associate Editor Jack Noonan, GBB Senior Writers Brandon Abraham and Parker Fleming, and GBB Writer Greg Ratliff.
Let’s start off with some positive thinking!
What is your dream scenario for Memphis on draft night?
GBB Site Manager Joe Mullinax (@JoeMullinax)- Picture this - we are all together at FedExForum for the official Grizzlies watch party (including me, I will be in Memphis. Come hang out with us.) I am sitting in our our live podcast we will be doing with the hosts Greg Ratliff and Mark King, and Phoenix takes DeAndre Ayton #1 as expected. Then, the Sacramento Kings take Marvin Bagley #2. The anticipation rises. Then, the Atlanta Hawks take Jaren Jackson Jr. #3. I shake with excitement. This is it! The moment is here! The Grizzlies literally RUN to the podium and yell “WE ARE TAKING LUKA!!!!!! LUKA DONCIC IS A GRIZZLY!!!!”
The Forum explodes in cheers! When Luka is interviewed, he looks right in to the camera and says “Joe Mullinax, this one is for you my friend”. And we become good buddies who go on adventures together, and when the Grizzlies win the NBA Finals he flies me in and we go eat BBQ and I teach him about smoked meats and he teaches me about life in Europe.
(Luka Doncic at 4. That’s the dream.)
GBB Associate Editor Jack Noonan (@jnoonan1307)- My dream scenario comes in two parts. First, if Luka Doncic is available, take him. No questions asked, and I feel like this is a common opinion. However, if he is not, I would seriously consider trading back to gain assets to build off of for the future. This may not be a popular scenario, but I feel it will best for the franchise long-term.
GBB Senior Writer Brandon Abraham (@bcabraham)- My dream scenario would be Luka Doncic or Marvin Bagley falling to 4th for the Grizzlies. Both players can help the Grizzlies compete right away as well as prepare for the future.
GBB Senior Writer Parker Fleming (@PAKA_FLOCKA)- Having Luka Doncic or Marvin Bagley III on the board at 4 would be a dream for the Grizzlies. Doncic or Bagley are two of the four guys - Ayton and Trae Young (argue with me on that) being the others - that would make the tank worth it. Both players could help the Grizzlies win now, and they could usher the next era of Memphis basketball. They are the two most sure-fire prospects in the draft, and the Grizzlies can’t mess up if either player is available.
GBB Writer Greg Ratliff (@GregRatliff)- Ayton goes #1 to Phoenix. Sacramento takes Bagley. And Atlanta take Jaren Jackson leaving Luka Doncic on the board for Memphis.
What is your nightmare scenario for Memphis on draft night?
Mullinax- Picture this - we are all together at FedExForum for the official Grizzlies watch party (including me, I will be in Memphis. Come hang out with us.) I am sitting in our our live podcast we will be doing with the hosts Greg Ratliff and Mark King, and Phoenix takes DeAndre Ayton #1 as expected. Then, the Sacramento Kings take Marvin Bagley #2. The anticipation rises. Then, the Atlanta Hawks take Jaren Jackson Jr. #3. I shake with excitement. This is it! The moment is here!
But then...Woj tweets out the following-
The Memphis Grizzlies are trading the #4 overall pick and Chandler Parsons to Minnesota for Andrew Wiggins.
No Luka in Memphis. Just an overpaid volume scorer who can hopefully get it together for the Grizzlies. I shed a single tear.
Noonan- My nightmare scenario for Memphis is for the team to draft Michael Porter Jr. He is a complete question mark with injury concerns. If Memphis is going to contend next year, they do not need to draft a risky prospect like Porter Jr. Recently, there has been a lot of buzz around is health concerns dragging his stock down even more.
Abraham- My nightmare scenario would be the top three goes chaotic where both Bagley and Doncic are available for the Grizzlies. This would be a dream for some, but with the Grizzlies luck whoever they pick would end up being a bust while the other player will be a Hall of Famer.
Fleming- The nightmare scenario is trading the pick. For starters, packaging the pick with Chandler Parsons would simply be a shortsighted move that could damage the future of the franchise, which I explain more here. The Grizzlies didn’t lose 60 games to trade back and end the night with Wendell Carter Jr. or Kevin Knox and a late first-round pick. Finally, there’s not a star on the trade market that really pushes the needle in the brutal Western Conference. Why trade the team’s most valuable asset in years to MAYBE make the playoffs?
Ratliff- One of two things. Ayton/Bagley/Doncic in some combination going 1-2-3. I’m not as confident as some in the other “Top 10” players. The other nightmare is trading back all the way out of the lottery.
What percent chance is there that the Grizzlies will actually trade the #4 overall pick?
Mullinax- 35%...which is way higher than I want it to be. There is precedent here (O.J. Mayo, Pau Gasol, etc.) and the Grizzlies have already been rumored to be gauging interest. Talk is not action...but when it comes to Memphis and draft night deals, usually where there is smoke there is fire.
Noonan- I would say 60% because Chris Wallace is known to be unpredictable to say the least. Draft night is a night of unexpected twists and turns, and I could see Memphis getting in the mix. Depending on how the first few picks go, I could see the Memphis fielding offers if the guy they want isn’t there. Trading back may not be such a bad idea, not to mention if that involves Chandler Parsons’ contract.
Abraham- I give the Grizzlies a 20% chance of trading the pick. The recent Porter news has been weird, but with his workout back on today I think the Grizzlies would take him at 4. If Porter’s stock continues to rise, I could see another team offering the Grizzlies a hell of a package to get one of the top 4.
Fleming- 50 percent, just because you never know what ol’ Wallace will do.
Ratliff- Wallace has shown he’s not willing to part with assets unless he gets the perfect deal, i.e. Tyreke Evans. I’d put it around 20%.
Which current member of the Grizzlies is most likely to be moved on draft night?
Mullinax- The popular answer is going to be Parsons, given recent reports, his contract, health concerns, etc. But that would involve a larger deal. On the other hand, moving on from a Jarell Martin or Deyonta Davis type would make it make more sense to draft a big like Marvin Bagley III and also package that smaller contract and #32 to move in to the late first round, or even acquire another 2nd round pick if there is a player that falls to #38 or #39 they really like.
I’m gonna say Martin. Expiring deal, more money, less long-term fit than Davis.
Noonan- The most likely candidate seems to be Chandler Parsons and his nightmare of a contract. This would be a massive, massive win if they could dump his salary off the books in a trade. They have an asset to attach which will entice teams to take on his contract. Outside of that, I could see a younger player like a Deyonta Davis or someone move somewhere in a late draft deal centered around second rounders.
Abraham- I’m going to cheat and name two players. I think Deyonta Davis or Jarell Martin have a good chance of being moved draft night. Both players could be shipped off if the Grizzlies want to move up from 32 or get a late second round pick if a prospect drops. If the Grizzlies draft a big man at #4, you can bet they’ll trade off one of the ones currently on the roster.
Fleming- Given the recent news, the easy answer is Chandler Parsons. His contract is an albatross, and it just seems like the Grizzlies are eager to move on from the Parsons experiment. Again though, it wouldn’t be an insanely idiotic move.
Ratliff- Chandler Parsons. I can’t see the Grizzlies moving anything unless someone is willing to take on his deal. Mike or Marc maybe? But the attitude we’ve heard is the team thinks they can win next year and moving one of those two would be counterproductive to that.