Despite Initial Reaction, Grizzlies Have A Great Opportunity On Draft Night

Former WWE Superstar Ron Simmons would've probably spoken for Memphis Grizzlies fans best as we all watched the NBA Draft Lottery results pop up on our televisions and smart phones a few weeks ago. After having the 2nd best odds at the overall pick (19.9%), the Grizzlies came away with the number 4 pick in the NBA draft, following Phoenix, Sacramento, and Atlanta.  After the initial gut-punch and disappointment, many fans, including myself still have optimism heading into the draft on June 21st.

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A 7 year streak of consecutive playoff appearances was abruptly brought to an end by a 60 loss season that garnered the Grizzlies the 4th pick.  It appears that the Grizzlies goal is still to make the playoffs based on comments made by new Grizzlies head coach, JB Bickerstaff, so does this mean that they are looking for a player that will align with this goal? What kind of player should they want, assuming they keep the pick?  Would trading the pick for a veteran make more sense if they are ultimately trying to make the playoffs this season or is that too short sighted?

This draft is always regarded as a bridge into the future. For the Grizzlies, this is definitely the case. A common criticism for the Grizzlies has always been a lack of youth, and now we really only have two core veterans in Mike and Marc and a plethora of 2nd to 4th year guys. The truth that most Grizzlies fans do not want to face is that Mike and Marc are aging on top of having a history of being injury proned. There’s no telling how many years of high level basketball this current duo has left.  So, we look to the draft, but for what?

If the collective idea is to keep the pick, then there are a few things the front office needs to consider about what is important. Should we get the best talent or the best fit? Should we get an immediate contributor or a guy who may take some time to develop? Should we get a guy who has a higher floor or a higher ceiling? It would be ideal for the Grizz to find a player that meets all of this criteria, but, realistically, we probably won’t know what our draft pick truly is capable of for another 5 years down the line. Who knows? All we know is what we need and want -  a guy who will not only complement Mike and Marc, but also a talent to carry the team into the next era.

Sure, it is not ideal for us to go through the miserable season that was 2017-18. As a fan base we all had to endure a season filled with twitter wars, message board mayhem, and most of all a whole lot of losing.  But we did it. We made it.  We survived, and we are still in a good place. After a season of so many negatives, this could be a beginning of a few positives.  Nail this pick and all of the hurt and pain of this season will be forgotten.  Miss on the pick and...well just don't miss on the pick.

GrizzEric Lentz