Welcome back to another edition of Flip This Franchise!
The 2019 NBA Draft is finally here! After two big trades that led to the acquisition of the #5 and #31 picks, the Grizzlies now find themselves in one of the best situations in the draft. Not only does the team have the potential to acquire one of the top young players with the 5th pick, but with the 31st pick, it also provides us an opportunity to take a solid role player as well. Now, Memphis has three different picks in this draft: numbers 5, 31, and 59.
Going into the draft, it is important to note that the biggest needs right now position-wise are at the SF, PG, and C positions, in that order. Without further ado, let’s get right to the draft!
Below I have listed picks 1-4 as the draft unfolds.
Pick #1: Charlotte Hornets select Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
Pick #2: Dallas Mavericks select Zion Williamson, PF, Duke
Pick #3: Boston Celtics select R.J. Barrett, SG, Duke
Pick #4: New York Knicks select Coby White, PG, North Carolina
Yeah...so that is not what I expected to happen at all. With Kemba’s contract up at the end of the year, you’d think that Michael Jordan would have wanted a star as hyped up as himself like Zion to come in and be the reason for him to stay. Instead, they end up taking the PG of the future with Morant as the top pick. Additionally, after trading for Kristaps Porzingis to pair with Luka Doncic, the Mavericks decide to go with another PF with Zion. Now in this instance, I can’t blame the GM at all since Zion is the clear-cut best player in the draft, and if needed they can either move him or Porzingis to the 5 position. Plus, when you add up all of the potential, a three-headed monster of Luka, KP, and Zion could dominate the league for years to come. With the Celtics taking Barrett at #3, I was thinking the Knicks may go with another wing player like Reddish, Hunter, or Culver at #4. Instead, they end up taking the 6’5 PG from UNC, Coby White, and as a Knicks fan, if this happens on draft night, I will be protesting outside The Garden for months after the draft. Anyways, it is now time to find out who the Grizzlies will take at pick #5.
Pick #5: Memphis Grizzlies select Cam Reddish, SF, Duke
At pick #5, I was thrilled to be able to snag Reddish, who was one of the highest coveted players entering into his freshman season at Duke. While Reddish may not have the shine of someone like a Zion or a Barrett, his play is definitely not to go unnoticed. At a 78 OVR, with A-rated potential, Reddish comes in as the 4th highest-ranked player in the draft, according to NBA 2K ratings. Not only that, but Reddish also helps fill our position void at SF and provides an instant impact to a young Grizzlies team. Moving forward, the time has come to figure out who the Grizzlies should take at pick #31.
Pick #31: Memphis Grizzlies select P.J. Washington, PF, Kentucky
At pick #31, for a player that was projected to go at #14, the Grizzlies were able to take one of Coach Cal’s best, with the 6’8” Washington at #31. The big man comes in at a 72 OVR and B potential, with great scoring attributes from all-around the court (B- INS, C Mid, B- 3PT) according to NBA 2K ratings. While Washington doesn’t necessarily fill a position gap with Jackson Jr. as the starter, he does help provide depth off the bench, while also being the top rated player available at the time we took him. In NBA 2K, it is harder to find players who not only have a strong ability to score inside, but also from 3PT, so I was pretty excited to land Washington when we did.
As the night grew closer to the end, we had to decide what to do at pick #59.
Grizzlies Trade: ‘19 2nd Round Pick (#59), Jevon Carter
Pacers Trade: ‘20 1st Round Pick (Lottery Protected)
With this trade, the Grizzlies now have three total first round picks in the 2020-21 NBA Draft. Even though the pick is lottery protected, with three total first round picks, the ability to trade up into the lottery becomes even more realistic. A player like Carter, who was on a 1 year deal at a 73 OVR with C+ potential, was worth letting go along with the 59th pick, which probably would have yielded a player that wouldn’t have been good enough to make the active roster. With that mindset, the potential value that we were able to acquire heavily outweighed the value that we gave up, making this a great deal for us with that pick.
And with that, the 2019 NBA Draft is over! Stay tuned for the next segment of Flip This Franchise, where we will be discussing our plan heading into free agency post-draft, along with the first moves of free agency’s moratorium period.
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