NBA Draft: Memphis Grizzlies’ Pursuit of Second-Round Value Continues

Though the Memphis Grizzlies do not own a second-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, they are continuing to bring in groups of late-Draft talent for evaluation.

June has officially arrived. It is now less than three weeks until the arrival of the 2019 NBA Draft. For the Memphis Grizzlies, pre-Draft workouts will be ramping up. That is, if they are interested in making any more noise than only selecting Ja Morant at No. 2 overall.

It must be noted that the Grizzlies do not own a second-round pick in this year’s NBA Draft. They dealt their second-rounder to the Chicago Bulls halfway through the 2018-19 NBA season in the transaction which landed them shooting guard Justin Holiday.

Fans of the Memphis Grizzlies should not fret. The Grizzlies typically find ways to make Draft Night noise and extend the life of fans’ Draft parties. Though the Grizz have originally owned a second-round pick in just four years of this decade, Memphis has managed to swing deals to obtain at least one second-rounder four different times. If this trend were to continue in 2019, there is a likely chance of the Grizzlies negotiating a deal to earn a spot in the second round.

Given the Memphis Grizzlies’ NBA Draft history, it should come as no surprise to hear of another group of lesser-known prospects making their way to the 901 on Saturday, June 1st for pre-Draft workouts and evaluations. According to Omari Sankofa of The Athletic, these are the six names expected in FedEx Forum in the latest group:

Initially, you will notice that there are not any big names amongst the six-man bunch. As previously mentioned, this shows the Memphis Grizzlies are gauging the field to see if it is worth the effort to purchase a second-round pick from an opposing NBA team. Another possibility is for the Grizzlies to look at guys to place on their Summer League roster if and when any of these guys fail to hear their name called on Draft Night.

While it is not Ja Morant or R.J. Barrett coming to town, there are couple imporant things to consider with June 1st’s group of NBA Draft hopefuls. Shaq Buchanan, though he is another guard prospect, was a teammate of Morant throughout both of Ja’s seasons at Murray State. That familiarity and chemistry is something in which the Grizzlies could potentially build upon in this next era and rebuild of the franchise.

It would not be crazy to see two former college teammates suit up on the same season’s roster for the Memphis Grizzlies. They are actively demonstrating this very thing on their current roster via Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey, who both represented the Oregon Ducks in the NCAA D-1 ranks.

In speaking of the Oregon Ducks, Kenny Wooten has the potential of being the third former Duck landing on the Grizzlies’ current roster, though he was never an active teammate of Brooks or Dorsey. Still, there is a slight connection that is present. Wooten, along with the rest of this six-man group, is not commonly projected to be drafted in the 60-pick NBA Draft, and would have to impress during workouts in order to move up the board.

The majority of this group of prospects is comprised of guards. While the Memphis Grizzlies should be set on guards, especially if Ja Morant indeed is their selection with the No. 2 overall NBA Draft pick, the club could still use any offensive firepower they can find, no matter the position. In the 2018-19 season, the Grizzlies ranked last in the entire NBA in scoring, 23rd in overall shooting percentage, and 25th in three-point accuracy.

Next: 5 Things Memphis Grizzlies Can Learn from the Toronto Raptors

Regardless of profile or popularity, the Memphis Grizzlies are in desperate need of offense. Being in the starting stages of a rebuild, why not take a low risk at improvement via a second-round Draft pick?