Every player the Memphis Grizzlies acquired on 2021 NBA Draft day
The Memphis Grizzlies had a busy day and in typical Grizz fashion — they didn’t give fans the simple 2021 NBA Draft that everybody was looking for.
Rather than trade deeper into the top ten in this year’s draft, the Grizzlies did the unexpected and stayed at the 10th spot. They followed this by trading up to the 30th spot, the same pick that saw them draft Desmond Bane a year ago.
This would end the Grizzlies’ 2021 NBA draft, making two first-round picks and zero second-rounders. That said, they didn’t finish their night there. They would also sign one of the best undrafted free agents.
Here is every player the Memphis Grizzlies either drafted or signed on 2021 NBA Draft Day
F Ziaire Williams, Stanford: Many fans thought Ziaire Williams was a reach in this draft, though that couldn’t be further from the truth. At 6-8, Williams gives the Grizzlies everything they need defensively and has a shot that can and will improve. He may not be an instant starter, but he’s a long defender (7-foot wingspan) who can guard smalls and bigs.
The Grizzlies picked up Williams with the 10th overall pick, even though they were expected to move up. The former Stanford wing was likely on another team’s radar, hence the Grizzlies moving up seven picks to take him.
F Santi Aldama, Loyola (Maryland): This was another classic Memphis Grizzlies unexpected pick. I’d wager to bet that only a small fraction of Grizz fans even knew who Santi Aldama was before this draft.
The Spanish forward is a classic 6-11 big man’s numbers jump off of the page. When I say jump, I mean it. Aldama averaged 21.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1 steal per game in his last season in college. He did this while knocking down 37% of his 3-point shots.
The scary part here is that he’s a big with a strong low-post game. While he plays like a traditional big, he’ll be able to space the floor the way Jaren Jackson Jr. does.
Yves Pons: Pons was one of the best undrafted free agents out of this year’s class. At 22 years old, his age may have worked against him. That said, he’s last year’s SEC defensive player of the year, so at the very least, Memphis is getting an NBA-ready defender.
(At the time that I’m writing this, Pons is “expected” to sign with the Memphis Grizzlies)
For the way he plays, he’s a bit undersized at just 6-6. That said, he can switch between small forward and power forward, playing strong defense and inconsistent offense. He has averaged up to 2.4 blocks in one season at the college level and knocked down 35% of his 3-pointers in that same season.
Pons is a player with an extremely high ceiling but an extremely low floor. This is a great pickup for the Grizzlies who need defense and floor spacing.