5 teams to target to move back into the first round
Memphis Grizzlies (Pick No. 22 & 29)
The Memphis Grizzlies have been able to build their team into a title contender because of their superb drafting throughout the entire draft.
From top picks like Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. to mid-first-round selections like Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane, the Grizzlies have built their roster through smart drafting.
That is how they got to the doorstep of contention and had their breakthrough season.
For sure, Memphis’ biggest thing to overcome in the playoffs was experience. The Grizzlies dealt with some injuries and found their regular lineup could get played off the court. Matchups are everything in the playoffs.
So where do the Grizzlies go from here?
Investing again in young players certainly does make sense because Memphis has been so good at that. But the Grizzlies also could be a team that is looking to do a lot more. They should be aggressive chasing players who will make their team better.
Undoubtedly, the biggest trade chip they have is Steven Adams and his expiring contract worth $17.9 million. Adams struggled to find playing time in the postseason — and a bout with COVID during the playoffs did not help — and his fall off is pretty well noted at this point.
The Magic may be one of the few teams who can and may be willing to take on a veteran of that caliber. Memphis may hold onto that asset to work on something bigger in the end.
But the framework is there to make something happen if the Grizzlies would prefer some veteran help over draft picks. Certainly not two picks.
Of course, teams with two first-round picks are just as likely to try to package them together to move up. And they might find takers who would prefer to drop down a few spots and get two picks. The Grizzlies will be able to field offers in both directions in this draft.
The Memphis Grizzlies, like the Denver Nuggets, were a mediocre 3-point shooting team despite having one of the best offenses in the league.
The Grizzlies have an attitude and a swagger about them. They like their length too. And that may not make Terrence Ross such a great fit with them, unless they just want a heater off the bench which may be something they need.
There is at least a framework to get started. But again, it will require the magic being willing to take on some salary.
And it is also abundantly clear the Magic want the same thing that every team wants — more shooting. And there just is not a lot of that. And even the Grizzlies need the same thing as the Magic — versatile backup big men, of which there is plenty in the late first and early second round.