How the Memphis Grizzlies could get three first round picks

The Memphis Grizzlies are in a position where a strong draft could solidify the team’s success for the next few years. With the top and bottom level teams finally emerging, how could Memphis get three top picks?

The Memphis Grizzlies have had two fantastic drafts. Picking up Jaren Jackson Jr. in the 2018 draft, and then selecting both Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke in the 2019 draft, the Grizzlies front office have shown that they are one of the better teams when it comes to drafting.

The 2020 NBA draft is a fairly precarious one for Memphis. Currently, the Grizzlies have two first round draft picks; however, one of those is from the Utah Jazz with protections from the 1-7 and 15-30 pick, so it’s almost guaranteed to go back to the Jazz, who are looking like a playoff team in the Western Conference.

The other pick that Memphis has is currently traded to the Boston Celtics, however, it’s protected in the top six, which is where Memphis is likely to fall. So, realistically, the Grizzlies have one first round draft pick for next year.

However, if the Grizzlies play all their cards right, there’s a chance that Memphis could go into a fairly talented 2020 NBA draft with three first round picks.

To start, this assumes that the top six pick that’s currently with Boston would defer back to Memphis. This means landing in the top six pick in the lottery though, so the Grizzlies have to be careful about what games they’re winning and which they choose to lose.

The next step would be sending Andre Iguodala to a contender in exchange for their first round pick. Currently, the frontrunners for that trade are the Los Angeles Lakers, the LA Clippers, and the Dallas Mavericks, all of whom still have their 2020 first round pick. A trade for Iguodala for an unprotected draft pick could give the Grizzlies a leg up in young talent over the next few years.

The final, and admittedly most difficult, pick for the Grizzlies to get is the Golden State Warriors 2020 draft pick. At first, it might seem like a longshot for the Grizzlies to get this pick, but there may be a better chance than some think.

According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Warriors aren’t finding themselves in love with any of the top picks in the upcoming draft, due to the guard heavy lottery:

The Warriors aren’t infatuated with anyone projected to go within the first couple of selections…The top of the 2020 draft is guard heavy, which isn’t ideal for a Golden State team that boasts [Stephen] Curry, [Klay] Thompson and D’Angelo Russell.

Now, that report did also mention that Bob Myers is the kind of General Manager who believes in picking the best available player, and not drafting for positional needs. However, the Grizzlies might be able to entice the Warriors GM with a young player of their own.

If they want a potential top-5 pick in the draft, the Grizzlies are initially going to have to give the Warriors more than they get. Because of this, the Grizzlies will probably have to give up one of the three young players they picked up in the last two drafts. Most likely, it would be Brandon Clarke.

As unpopular as it may be, giving the Warriors Brandon Clarke for a package of Glenn Robinson III, Alec Burks, and the Warriors first round pick might end up working out for both sides. The Warriors would get a promising young forward to play backup to Draymond Green, and the Grizzlies would now hold two potential top-5 picks in a draft that’s definitely full of interesting prospects. Giving up Clarke would be tough for Grizzlies fans, but potentially acquiring both RJ Hampton (should he declare) and James Wiseman could solidify the Grizzlies future in the long run.

Next: Should the Grizzlies trade for Kevin Love?

Getting three first round picks won’t be easy for Memphis, and it certainly would require some sacrifices to be made, but if the Grizzlies are focused on making this rebuilding period as short as possible then it would be one route that’s worth considering.