4. Options to trade back
As a team that won 22 games a season ago and plays in a loaded Western Conference, Memphis needs more help to compete than they’ll likely be able to add from one player. If they aren’t head over heals for a player or two in the top five, it would make a ton of sense to find a team with a mid-first round pick or late lottery pick and trade back — especially since they do not have a first round pick next season.
If they can turn the No. 4 pick into a pick in the 8 to 15 range and either a current player who could contribute or a future pick, I think it’s something that needs to be given serious consideration.
Aside from Carter, the Grizzlies would have several viable options in that range.
Collin Sexton (PG, Alabama)
- Freak athlete with off the charts intensity
- Only 6-foot-2 but has a 6-foot-8 wingspan and potential to develop into a lock-down defensive guard
- Great scorer, blows defenders away one on one and finishes at the rim
- Needs to improve consistency as a perimeter shooter and develop as a true point guard
- Got to the rim and drew more fouls than any guard in the draft
- Could play alongside Conley, would be the point guard of the future, and would be the best backup point guard Memphis has ever had
- Projected No. 8 to 12
Mikal Bridges (SG/SF, Villanova)
- 6-foot-7 junior, two-time national champion
- Great leadership and intangibles
- Can shoot from the perimeter and space the floor
- Could become a Jason Tatum-type two-way player
- Will be an asset no matter what, floor is as a solid three and D player, ceiling as a Jason Tatum-type of impact player
- Projected No. 7 to 12
Miles Bridges (SF, Michigan St)
- Strong, athletic, 6-foot-7 small forward
- High basketball IQ player who can score in a variety of ways inside and out
- Versatile defender, can guard three, possibly four positions
- More polished from having spent two years at Michigan St. under Tom Izzo
- Projected No. 7 to 15
Lonnie Walker (SG, Miami)
- Explosive, can jump out of the building
- Great slasher, excels as isolation and can finish in a variety of ways
- Also a solid perimeter shooter both as an off-ball player and attacking
- Has the athleticism, size (6’5″ frame and 6’10” wingspan) to be an elite defender but needs to improve awareness when guarding opposing shooters off the ball
- Projected No. 10 to 20
I have no idea what Chris Wallace and the Grizzlies’ front office will do and I’m almost scared to speculate.