NBA Draft: Memphis Grizzlies Should Expect a Lot from Brandon Clarke in Year One

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NBA Draft Memphis Grizzlies Brandon Clarke

Memphis Grizzlies selected Brandon Clarke at No. 21 in Thursday’s NBA Draft (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Memphis Grizzlies scored big twice in the 2019 NBA Draft, with the second time being at the 21st overall pick in Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke. What does he bring to the table?

Two days after acquiring the 23rd overall pick from the Utah Jazz as part of the Mike Conley trade package, the Memphis Grizzlies sent the pick along with a future second-rounder to the Oklahoma City Thunder. This moved Memphis up two slots in the NBA Draft to take Gonzaga guard/forward Brandon Clarke.

Draft Night had been a success for the Grizzlies from the moment Adam Silver announced Ja Morant’s name at No. 2, but adding another player many had graded as a lottery pick…well, this just is not something we are used to in Memphis.

Clarke, the 2019 WCC Defensive Player of the Year and a First-Team All-Conference selection, was rated as the No. 5 overall prospect by TheStepien.com, No. 17 by TheRinger.com, and projected as the No. 14 pick by NBA.com’s Consensus Mock Draft. He was one of the most impressive players at the Combine, measuring 6’8.25” and 207 pounds with a 34” standing vertical and 40.5” max vertical (third and fourth highest of the 58 players that participated).

The biggest knock against Clarke was his age. He will be 23 by the time his rookie season tips off, which was a concern for a lot of teams, especially since his offensive game is still somewhat of a work in progress. But whether or not he develops, he already does enough at an elite level to come in and make an impact from Day One. And with his skill set and the Grizzlies’ young core, Clarke could not have landed in a better situation.

Scouting Report

2018-19 Season Stats

  • 16.9 points, 8.6 rebounds (3.1 offensive*), 3.2 blocks*, 1.9 assists, 1.2 steals
  • 68.7% FG** / 26.7% 3P / 69.4% FT
  • Player Efficiency Rating: 37.2*
  • Offensive Rating: 137.9**
  • Defensive Rating: 84.0**
  • Win Shares: 8.8**

*Led WCC  /  **Led NCAA

Beale Street Bears will now break down Brandon Clarke’s game on both sides of the basketball as he looks to play an important part of the Grizzlies’ future, both sooner and later.

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