NBA Draft Team Preview: Memphis Grizzlies

THE NBA Draft is just around the corner, in what shapes as one of the most anticipated selection nights in recent memory, thanks to a talented crop of up and comers set to have their dreams realised.

With that in mind, Rookie Me Central will be previewing each side ahead of draft night on June 22, unpacking all 30 teams’ needs and potential selections as they look towards the future.

The next team on the agenda are the Memphis Grizzlies, who fell in the first round of the NBA Playoffs despite being the higher-ranked side. The side is now faced with a plethora of off-court issues with one of their star players. Regardless, the draft is the perfect opportunity for the Grizzlies to re-tool and add some quality talent to an already strong and youthful roster.

Memphis Grizzlies

Draft selections

25, 45, 56

Contracted players

Jaren Jackson Jr., Steven Adams, Tyus Jones, Luke Kennard, Ja Morant, Ziaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, Jake LaRavia, David Roddy, John Konchar, Desmond Bane, Santiago Aldama, Xavier Tillman (team option), Kenneth Lofton, Kennedy Chandler, Vince Williams Jr. (two way contract), Jacob Gilyard (two-way contract)

The Grizzlies look set to bring back most of the squad that led them to the second seed in the 2022/23 season, and with an already strong group of young players, they can continue to further their reputation as one of the best up and coming players in the league. It is clear Memphis is looking for long-term success, so it seems unlikely its three picks are moved for older players.

With the 25th pick, there is plenty of potential for Memphis to pick up a future star of the competition. In terms of team fit, one of the best options could be Dereck Lively II, who impressed during his time with Duke last season. At 19 years of age, he is a long-term project, but could pay off in the end if a team is willing to put in work to tap his potential. One area that Memphis struggled in last season was its rim protection, and Lively II would help fill this void with his ability to protect the hoop.

If Judah Mintz is still available by the time the Grizzlies are on the clock, he would be an excellent option at pick 45. Much like Morant, Mintz has the capability to attack downhill and put plenty of pressure on the rim. Jones is out of contract at the end of next season too, so Mintz could be the backup point guard of the future for Memphis.

With their final pick in the draft at 56, the Grizzlies could opt for a solid wing player in Oliver-Maxence Prosper. Following the departure of Dillon Brooks, the Grizzlies will be looking to fill the void left as a wing defender, and Prosper thrives in this role. With the potential to improve his shooting mechanism in years to come, he is worth the gamble given his ability to provide impact as a tough defensive matchup.

The Grizzlies have a selection in all three rounds of the 2023 NBA Draft, and have the opportunity to address any needs ahead of an important 2023/24 season.

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