Despite what some people may say (maybe some that are even on this staff), the Grizzlies are in the best possible position in order to begin a rebuild. They should absolutely NOT trade out of the 2nd pick under any circumstances. As you may have seen or guessed, the Pelicans will more than likely draft Zion Williamson with the #1 overall pick. With that out of the way, that leaves the Griz to draft the 2nd best prospect in the draft: Ja Morant. The man is the ultimate package; Ja is the first guard since Dwyane Wade to record a triple-double in the NCAA tournament. He is an amazing passer and scorer, and would fit perfectly as a long-term point guard for the team.
With Ja and 3J (Jaren Jackson, Jr.) at the helm, this would be a good dynamic duo that the Grizzlies can have as the cornerstones of the franchise. It sets the stage for the Grizzlies to have the next Conley-Gasol duo for the next decade, and can help build a team of the future. Unfortunately, this means that the Griz will have to move on from from Mike Conley and his massive contract in order to do so. Many teams are rumored to be interested in Mike, and here they are and what they’d offer:
– 76ers = Ben Simmons and firsts
– Celtics (if Kyrie opts out, Pelicans won’t trade AD, and Horford opts out and resigns) = Brown, Tatum, Baynes, Smart, and firsts
– Pacers = Sabonis, Joseph, and firsts
– Lakers = Ingram, Hart, Kuzma, and firsts
– Jazz = Favors, Exum, and firsts
– Bucks (possibly) = Bledsoe, Snell, Ilyasova, and firsts
– Raptors (possibly) = Lowry and firsts
The Grizzlies first and only goal should be to acquire as many assets as possible while giving Conley as good as a receiving team as possible, like they already did with Marc Gasol. Sure, it sucks to reset a franchise, but the goal of every franchise is to win. Even if they drafted someone like Hunter or Culver to fit next to Conley and 3J, they would be S.O.L. is they get nothing out of Conley if he gets hurt. Conley and Gasol will both get statues outside the stadium regardless of whether or not they are still on the team at the end of the year. Conley is 31 years old and is on the hook for $67 million for the next two seasons. That will hinder any attempt for the Grizzlies if they try and rebuild. If they can get anything to help along the rebuild process AND give Mike the sendoff he needs.