Memphis Grizzlies: Grading NBA Offseason So Far

(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Memphis Grizzlies
(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Grizzlies Draft

#2 – Ja Morant

Ja Morant is a massive prize for Memphis, who leaped 6 or 7 spots in the Draft order, stealing the top PG prospect just as they were forced to deal Mike Conley.

Morant is a high-ceiling freak, both in terms of his vertical leap and potential ability. He combines lethal scoring with visionary playmaking and should be deadly with Jaren Jackson Jr in the pick and roll.

Ja needs to develop a more consistent outside jumper, and can improve his decision making (average shooter from college three, coupled with 5.2 turnovers per game). But he has the makings of a star, came along at the perfect time, and gives the Grizzlies an instant jolt of League Pass appeal.

Grade: A

#21 – Brandon Clarke

While technically acquired via trade, Clarke fits in here as a draftee, in a draft-night deal (Memphis also has enough trades to get to later). A high-impact power forward whose motor and athleticism make up for his lack of height (a not-long 6’8″), Clarke is potentially great late value. The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks went as far as “(Clarke) could be one of the best selections of this draft”.

Clarke might be limited in range, but he is a devastating two-way force. Per Deadspin, he somehow had more blocked shots than missed field goals as a junior, while scoring 17.0ppg for Gonzaga.

Clarke’s synergy with Jaren Jackson Jr’s range and length could make for a devastating inside-out combo in small-ball sets. And his hustle and efficient dominance are an appropriate fixture in this Grit N Grind re-build.

Grade: A

Overall Grade: A