After losing Mike Conley to a season-ending injury, the Memphis Grizzlies struggled in the 2017-18 NBA season. With the Western Conference Playoffs no longer in sight, the Grizzlies decided to tank in order to acquire a lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. As of now, Memphis holds the No. 4 pick, and according to Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal, the Grizzlies will explore all options with the precious pick.
As Tillery noted, the Grizzlies could exercise the No. 4 pick to add a young and talented player on their roster, or use it as a trade chip in a blockbuster deal. With their goal to return to the Western Conference Playoffs next season, it makes more sense for the Grizzlies to trade the No. 4 pick for an “established player.”
“The Grizzlies continue to send signals that they might be willing to trade out of the draft for an established player who will allow them to compete next season with a healthy roster. Remember, Memphis has three players (Conley, Gasol and Chandler Parsons) tied up with maximum salary contracts. The franchise believes it can return to the playoffs during the 2018-19 season. Memphis would seek to hand over the fourth pick for a young, established all-star level player.”
— Erik Geiger (@ErikGeiger) May 30, 2018
The Grizzlies obviously need to make a huge upgrade to their roster if they want to provide good competition in the Western Conference next season. Even with the healthy Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, it remains a big question if the Grizzlies have a chance of beating West powerhouse teams like the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets in a best-of-seven series. Trading for a player who could immediately make an impact next season should be a priority in Memphis this summer.
Several NBA superstars are expected to be on the trade market in the upcoming offseason. These include Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs, Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors. However, in order to acquire at least one of those superstars, the Grizzlies will need to attach other valuable assets to the No. 4 pick.
Aside from being aggressive on the trade market, the Grizzlies should also make their plan for the upcoming free agency where, according to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, Tyreke Evans should be their No. 1 priority. In his one-year stint in Memphis, Evans had an impressive season, averaging 19.4 points, 5.2 assists, and 5.1 rebounds on 45.2 percent shooting from the field, and 39.9 percent from beyond the arc in 52 games last season.