Leading up to 2020 NBA Draft Night, the Memphis Grizzlies’ front office was relatively quiet. There was very little chatter surrounding who Memphis was targeting and whether or not they would try and move up from their lone No. 40 pick.
Well, they did, making a swap with the Boston Celtics to acquire the 30th pick in exchange for two future second-round picks. At the end of the first round, the Grizzlies selected TCU prospect Desmond Bane.
The 6’6″ wing averaged 16.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game for coach Jamie Dixon while shooting an impressive 44.2 percent from the 3-point line. For a team that ranked 23rd in 3-point percentage last season, Bane is a major step in the right direction to improving Memphis’ perimeter threat.
Zach Kleiman and the Grizzlies’ front office weren’t done there. They then traded a future second-round pick and this year’s 40th pick to the Sacramento Kings for Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman Sr.
Tillman is an athletic big who is one of the best defenders in this draft class. He finishes aggressively in the pick-and-roll and is a good friend of Grizzlies big man, and former Spartan, Jaren Jackson Jr.
At a glance, Bane and Tillman fit this developing Grizzlies identity of smart, athletic, hard-working players.
Bane has the potential to be the Brandon Clarke of the 2020 NBA Draft. He fell to 30th on draft night, but it might not be long before people are wondering how in the world 29 teams let him slip through the cracks all the way to Memphis. For the second year in a row, Memphis identified who they wanted and made the necessary moves to make sure they got them. Last year it was Clarke, it was clearly Bane in 2020.
So, how do these new additions fit in with what the Grizzlies already have? That, ultimately, is the most important question. Let’s take a deeper dive into where these players might fit in the Memphis rotation.