It is becoming clear that the Memphis Grizzlies first round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft will not be conveyed to Boston. Here’s why Jarrett Culver could be a prime candidate for them to select.
The Memphis Grizzlies continue to make it known that they’re playing to win games so the pick conveys to the Boston Celtics this summer but that is becoming unlikely. They need to start looking at NBA Draft prospects and Jarrett Culver should be near the top of their list.
Sure the Grizzlies would love to get the chance to select a guy such as Zion Williamson or Ja Morant but that isn’t extremely likely. With the way the new draft lottery is set up, it is possible but they won’t be in the bottom three of the standings at season’s end.
Culver is a guy who would likely be available anywhere they pick. He is a talented guard who has the potential to become a very good two-way player in this league and could be the Grizzlies shooting guard of the future.
If he were the selection he likely wouldn’t start right away but you never know. Jaren Jackson Jr. wasn’t expected to start but the injury to JaMychal Green led to him getting his chance and he took advantage.
The Grizzlies do have some nice pieces on the wing in Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson but they need to acquire all the young talent they can. Both of those two guys look like key pieces going forward but some health issues have been developing for both. The health concerns aren’t long-term concerns at the moment but they are something to think about.
They both are good players who very possibly could be two starters on this team going forward but who knows how things will turn out. A lot will depend on whether or not Mike Conley is on the roster. Many people assume he will get traded this summer and with how free agency is currently shaping up I fully expect that to be the case.
Culver’s play at Texas Tech has been fantastic but he has gotten overlooked drastically when discussing the top prospects. His freshman season he was playing alongside talented players such as Keenan Evans and Zhaire Smith but now this season he is the leader on both ends of the floor. The Red Raiders still have a lot of other good players around him but he is the main option.
Through his first 28 games of the season, he is averaging 18 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. He gets it done on both ends of the floor which is something the Grizzlies will appreciate. They have a lot of one-way players and getting a guy who can score and defend at a high level will go a long ways towards building a playoff contender.
Culver had a huge game in a recent 91-62 win over Kansas. He finished with 26 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds. He went 10-21 from the field including 3-8 from three-point range. His ability to step up in big games is huge and something that the Grizzlies need.
His projected spot in the draft is an interesting one though. Some people have him in the top five range but others have him near the end of the lottery. He is an interesting prospect like that but this is thought of as a weak class. It will be interesting how well he does the rest of the way and if he can lead Texas Tech to a deep NCAA Tournament run which will improve his draft stock.
He has his team playing at a high level as they have won seven straight games as they continue their pursuit of a Big 12 championship. He is the best player on one of the hottest teams in the country so look for his draft stock to continue to rise.
Culver is going to be a great two-way player in this league. He may never be an all-star but he will be a very good starter and while that isn’t the goal with lottery picks, in a weak draft like this one you want to select a player you can rely on in a variety of ways and Jarrett Culver is that guy.