Well, I was expecting to use this part of the big board to write about potential guys at the 17th pick, or ones to trade back for in the late 1st round. However, we received a massive Woj bomb that propelled the Memphis Grizzlies to the 10th pick — and there are eyes towards even higher too.
So that’s fun!
Nonetheless, any of these players could be in play if the Grizzlies want to move up from 40. Where could 40 + Tyus Jones get you — maybe the Los Angeles Clippers at 25, or the Philadelphia 76ers at 28? Could replacing Tyus Jones with Grayson Allen get you even higher? Even 2 future seconds along with 40 should get them up into the early 30’s.
If those deals go down on draft night, any of these players could be targets.
21) Josh Christopher, 6’5” guard, Arizona State University
View my profile on Christopher here.
Justin Lewis (12): Josh Christopher is a top 10 ceiling player in this draft but he comes with the risks obviously leading to him being mocked late first round. He’s one of the few guys in the draft that is a flat out bucket getter. While you’d like a few more inches in height, at 6’5, Christopher is big enough and good enough to be the first 2 guard off the bench for Memphis in the future. His 80% from the charity stripe indicates the shooting stroke is there. He also averaged 1.5 steals per game as well showing the defensive potential as well. The raw numbers aren’t great, but the raw talent is.
Jesse Cinquini (35): Christopher is a certified bucket-getter. However, his three-point shot is still very much a work in progress, as evidenced by his 30.5% clip at Arizona and awkward release. Additionally, he’s prone to play with noticeable tunnel vision (1.4 assists per game compared to 1.7 turnovers) and settles for too many long twos. The three-level scoring upside is there, but Christopher needs to fine-tune his all-around game to live up to expectations at the next level.
22) Tre Mann, 6’5” guard, University of Florida
View Bryce Hayes’ profile on Mann here.
Joe Mullinax (16): Why are folks not more excited about a combo guard who can shoot the three and create off of floaters for the Memphis Grizzlies? No, Mann is not a perfect fit. You’d rather him be a bigger/longer wing who could defend more positions more consistently. But in terms of a long-term back-up for Ja Morant that could also potentially fit well alongside him, you could do worse than Mann. He can indeed provide valuable off the dribble scoring for a Grizzlies team sorely in need of it, and his body control for his age/experience are near elite. He’d be a solid 7th or 8th man to grow in to with this roster.
Parker Fleming (28): With Mann, there's no doubt he’s an electrifying shot-creator. However, I worry about his defensive translation at the next level. His physical tools worry me (6’5” with a 6’4” wingspan), and he didn’t really show much flashes on the defensive end as well. His defensive limitations could lead to him being a 3rd guard at the next level that fills it up as a spark plug off the bench — which is certainly a great career to have.
23) Jared Butler, 6’3” guard, Baylor University
Brandon Abraham (18): Butler is a great 3-point marksmen, who creates open looks in many different ways. Butler also improved as a passer in his career at Baylor to add to his stellar shooting and solid defensive play. He should have a serviceable NBA career as a 3 and D player, now that he’s been cleared by the NBA’s fitness-to-play panel.
Shawn Coleman (26): Jared Butler is a bit lower on my end due to the health concerns and the overall upside. He feels to be more of a finished product that other potential upside guard plays, though the shooting is legit with upside when it comes to playmaking. Though he would make a fine selection for anyone past pick 20, the health concerns could make other options more sensible.
24) Chris Duarte, 6’6” wing, University of Oregon
View Brandon Abraham’s profile on Duarte here.
Ben Hogan (19): I think the biggest knock against Duarte is his age (24) and that’s not a deal breaker for me. While he isn’t a franchise guy, he can be drafted and immediately make an impact. Duarte has good size for a wing at 6’6” and is an elite shotmaker from the perimeter. He also has the ability to get to the bucket, so it keeps defenses on their toes. He could get caught with a mismatch on defense at times, but is really good on help defense and recovering.
EdMemphis (36): Chris Duarte is a savvy older prospect who will be 24 years old on draft night. He has shown savvy two way potential, but is he closer to Dillion Brooks or Landry Fields? Odds are the latter — if you ask me — but if he lands in the middle, he’s worth a late first round pick. More so a value play late in this draft.
25) Usman Garuba, 6’8” big, Spain
View EdMemphis’ profile on Garuba here.
Shawn Coleman (20): In my opinion, offensive upside should have a bit more value than defensive upside when it comes to prospect potential. However, when it comes to Usman Garuba, he may have some of the highest defensive upside in a front court talent in recent years. Furthermore, while his offensive game may need some refining over time, his instincts and intelligence should make him somewhat efficient on offense even in a low usage role.
Brandon Abraham (26): Garuba has upside as a great defensive player due to his size. Unfortunately, it’s all right defense and no offense with Garuba, and in today’s NBA you can rarely get away with being good on just one side of the ball. Teams will like his activity, but he doesn’t do enough offensively to be placed highly on my board.
26) Ziaire Williams, 6’10” wing, Stanford University
View Justin Lewis’ profile on Williams here.
Jesse Cinquini (16): Williams is a prime example of the high ceiling, low floor prospects which inevitably show up in each class. He struggled to score the ball efficiently in college (37.4% from the field) but flashed tantalizing shot-creating and playmaking skills at over 6’8”. When factoring in Williams’ ability to wreak havoc in passing lanes and stymie counterparts at the rim with his length on the other end, he is worth a gamble in the mid-first round. I could picture him making an All-Star team or two someday in the perfect situation.
EdMemphis (48): Ziaire Williams is frail, and he plays like it. He doesn’t absorb contact well at all and is not nearly cerebral enough to compensate in other ways on the floor. Some will argue the Covid-plagued season didn’t do some the justice it did others, but Ziaire has the same problems he showed as a prep. He needs to mature in terms of his frame and his feel for the game. Gives me Austin Daye vibes.
27) Ayo Dosunmu, 6’5” guard, University of Illinois
View Lauren’s profile on Dosunmu here.
Lauren Harvey (15): Ayo is such a well-rounded prospect. Yes, he can force passes sometimes but he is a reliable scorer with great size and a fantastic rebounder for his position. You add in his leadership qualities and work ethic and I struggle to understand why so many mocks have him going in the early second round.
Parker Fleming (37): What’s Dosunmu’s fit going to be at the next level? If he needs to be a lead guard, he’ll likely need to be a backup point guard. In addition, he needs to improve his outside shooting to play off ball as well. That’s my main point of skepticism with Ayo.
28) Isaiah Jackson, 6’10” big, University of Kentucky
Justin Lewis (15): What’s not to like about Isaiah Jackson? People are raving about Kai Jones and even JT Thor, but Jackson should be in the same conversation. He’s a possible late lottery pick with a moderately high ceiling.
Nathan Chester (35): Isaiah Jackson was relatively unproductive on an awful Kentucky team, and to me he’s purely a bet on physical tools that have yet to truly demonstrate themselves. Athletic, rim-protecting bigs are easy to find on the free agent market, and I’m not sure they’re worth a first round pick.
29) Day’Ron Sharpe, 6’11” big, University of North Carolina
Ben Hogan (28): I like the potential of Sharpe as he is coming out of UNC after his freshman year. He’s a true center in the sense that he spends the majority of his time around the basket. But, I for one, still feel there is a spot in the league for true centers. He’s shown impressive skills as a passer out of the post and he crashes the offensive glass hard. Reports from ESPN and The Athletic also say that Sharpe has slimmed down a little and has added some range to his shot, which only increases his ceiling.
Nathan Chester (56): Sharpe is an old-school big with skill and good footwork inside the paint and is a strong rebounder. His overall versatility, or lack thereof, may keep him from being impactful in the NBA.
30) Quentin Grimes, 6’5” wing, University of Houston
Lauren Harvey (26): I love how Grimes worked on his game and became a reliable threat from deep shooting 40% on 8 attempts a game his Junior year. His Final Four run was impressive, and his combine performance has him climbing up big boards, he should be a late first rounder.
Jesse Cinquini (46): Grimes’ offensive repertoire is quite limited. Though he was a knockdown shooter from deep in college, his sub-par handle and burst mean he could have trouble creating his own offense at the next level. And considering he shot just 46% from inside the line across his three-year career and never developed much of an in-between game, there are questions about whether he’ll be more than just a spot-up three-point shooter.
Would any of these players be good fits on the Grizzlies? Comment your thoughts below.