Ahead of their matchup tonight with the Clippers, the Memphis Grizzlies currently hold the NBA’s 8th worst record. If you recall, the Celtics own their pick but the main caveat is that it’s 1-8 protected. While usually it’d make sense to be rooting for the Grizzlies to win some games so the pick can convey, this year is different. The Celtics currently hold their own pick, the Clippers pick (guaranteed to convey after the Clippers secured a playoff birth), and then the King’s pick (Top 1 protected). Having a fourth draft pick thrown into that mosh-pit wouldn’t be in the Celtic’s best interest. The King’s pick sits at 13 while the Celtics and Clippers picks are at 21 and 22 respectively as we stand today. Besides the headliners of Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Rui Hachimura, and Ja Morant, none of the other prospects really stand out as much in terms of superstar potential. The Celtics also have a notably crowded depth chart already and the possibility of adding 4 more rookies to the mix isn’t too appealing for a team with title aspirations. Another issue is the fact that when you’re a team with so many picks, other GMs know this and they take advantage of it in trade talks. They try to fleece and prod extra picks due to the simple fact that the team has the picks to spare. It isn’t easy to move up in the draft via trade and late first rounders aren’t the most appealing capital on the market.
So now as you can see, public enemy number ONE is the Memphis Grizzlies. When the trade deadline passed and they dumped off Marc Gasol to embrace the tank it seemed like the pick would most certainly be top 5 as they sat at an abysmal 22-34. Since then, they’ve gone 9-11 and have slowly but surely played themselves out of their own pick. What a disaster this would be for them after tearing it all down. They may not even get a shot at a Zion, or a Ja Morant, and that’s the front office/coaches faults. Why not play Mike Conley less minutes? Or give someone else some run instead of letting Jonas Valanciunas record 20/10s every single night. They’re winning all of these games they realistically shouldn’t be and it’s quite irksome. Tanking is an art and for a team like Memphis, that’s the only way they’re getting talent in the door. Find me a max player who wants to sign up for a max in Memphis, I’ll wait, and I’ll probably wait forever. It’s never happened and until they either get lucky or build something of substance, it won’t happen. So just as some friendly advice to the Grizz, tank correctly. Do yourself a favor and lose some games so you can possibly get that Zion Williamson lottery ticket. More importantly for our sake, lose some games so the Celtics can bump this pick to next year and avoid the treasure trove of draft picks nobody wants.