Grizzlies

Deck the Halls with Memphis Draft Picks

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The modern NBA is a business. As such, the draft picks distributed by the league act as a type of currency for teams to acquire talent. Being able to tip-toe the luxury tax line while stockpiling said picks is a path that many teams attempt to follow towards success.

Now, stowing these gifts from the league to only use on draft night? That’s the equivalent of driving with only one eye open.

You’re only seeing half of the equation.

These draft picks should serve one of two purposes:

  1. Be used to acquire talent in the draft itself
  2. Be packaged in trades to acquire talent outside the draft

Zach Kleiman has already navigated Memphis through the luxury tax labyrinth with exceptional skill. They now seem poised to master the art of the deal with their draft picks.

Looming large, the NBA trade deadline is still a couple months away. On Dec.15th, though, players who signed new contracts this past off-season are eligible to be traded.

With the unofficial start of the trade season upon us, let’s examine each of the Grizzlies’ upcoming draft picks.

2023 (Three Picks)

  • Round One, Pick # TBD,  From: Own
  • Round Two, Pick # TBD, From: Minnesota
  • Round Two, Pick # TBD, From: Own

As of now, the Grizzlies will head into 2023 draft night with three total picks. They have their own first and second round picks.

The added bonus is they have also the Minnesota Timberwolves’ second round pick. Memphis netted this pick when they traded up to acquire the draft rights to Jake LaRavia.

In the deal, the Grizzlies sent the 22nd pick (Walker Kessler) and the 29th pick (TyTy Washington) to the T-wolves, who sent their second round pick back to Memphis along with LaRavia’s draft rights.

2024 (Four Picks)

  • Round One, Pick # TBD, From: Own
  • Round One, Pick # TBD, From: Golden State*
  • Round Two, Pick # TBD, From: Toronto
  • Round Two, Pick # TBD, From: Indiana, Utah, or Cleveland**

*2024 protected first-round pick (protected 1-4), 2025 (protected 1) and 2026 (unprotected)

**Cleveland-Sacramento-Utah, 2/8/2018; New York-Utah, 11/22/2020; Brooklyn-Cleveland-Houston-Indiana, 1/16/2021; Indiana-Milwaukee, 7/30/2021; Memphis-Milwaukee, 8/7/2021

This is the season when some of Kleiman’s wheeling and dealing begins to bear more fruit. Currently only one of the Grizzlies’ four picks is their own, and that number could become zero should they choose to ship this pick off in a trade.

Should they hold on to the pick, it will be one of their two first round picks in 2024. That second round pick was a gift from the Golden State Warriors, as they tagged it onto the Andre Iguodala trade for Julian Washburn.

Remember him, signed a two-way with Memphis in 2019?

Yeah, I didn’t either.

The Grizzlies’ two second round picks were also acquired via trades.

The first was from the Marc Gasol trade to Toronto.

The second was shipped to the Grizzlies via the Grayson Allen trade.

2025 (Two Picks)

  • Round One, Pick # TBD, From: Own
  • Round Two, Pick # TBD, From: New Orleans

In addition to their own 2025 first round pick, the Grizzlies also have a second round pick that they acquired from the Pelicans.

This pick was part of the package received when Memphis traded Jonas Valuncianas to New Orleans.

It’s pretty remarkable that the Grizzlies will still be benefiting from this trade in 2025, and it is yet another feather in the cap when it comes to trade hauls for Kleiman and the gang.

2026 (One Pick)

  • Round One, Pick # TBD, From: Own

Currently Memphis only owns their own first round pick from 2026.

2027-2029 (Six Picks)

  • Round One, Pick # TBD, From: Own
  • Round Two, Pick # TBD, From: Own

Currently Memphis owns all six of their draft picks from the 2027 through the 2029 seasons.

The Haul (Sixteen Picks)

As it stands, Memphis has eleven of their own draft picks and five that they’ve acquired via trade over the next seven drafts.

That’s the type of ammunition they could use in a blockbuster deal if they decided it was time to go all in this season.

After the holidays end and players become available, we’ll see if Memphis thinks that now is the time.

CRAVING MORE GRIZZLIES?

Check out this in-depth dive by Andrew Hanissian (@AndrewHanissian), Defying Gravity: An Anatomical Analysis of Ja Morant. And be sure to check out the Grizz 901 Podcast, where the Grizz Lead guys get on to discuss the most recent games and much, much more!

About Luke Hatmaker

Luke is based out of Nashville, TN where he lives with his cat, Dr. Alan Grant. In addition to contributing to Grizz Lead, he is one of the hosts of the No Bluffin' Podcast for the Grizz 901 Podcast Network and is also a cast member the RPG Radio Show Podcast.

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