The Memphis Grizzlies have made quite a few trades this offseason. Roster-wise, these deals haven’t netted them much. If anything, Memphis has downgraded talent in players like Steven Adams and Jarrett Culver in an attempt to continue a successful rebuild, while sending away a key starter in Jonas Valanciunas.
In the long run, it should pay off.
But one of the underrated parts of this offseason has been the Grizzlies’ acquisition of future capital. Let me give you an example.
The Memphis Grizzlies finessed the New Orleans Pelicans to earn a cheap first-round pick
In a blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis traded for the possibility of getting the Lakers’ 2022 first-round pick. What’s the caveat, you ask? If the pick lands anywhere in the top ten, this pick will go to New Orleans. To put it even more simply, the Grizzlies will get this pick.
Heck, LeBron James could miss the entire 2021 season and the Lakers wouldn’t fall into the lower third of the league.
The Grizzlies originally acquired this pick in the Jonas Valanciunas deal. The headliner on this deal was that Memphis send JV to the Pelicans, and in exchange, they’d move up in the first and second rounds of the 2021 NBA Draft. Eventually, they’d end up picking Ziaire Williams with the 10th-overall pick.
The part that went under the radar, however, was the fact that the Grizzlies were all but guaranteed another first-round pick in this deal — one that originally belonged to the Lakers. Granted, this may be a late-round pick, it’s still a great asset for the organization to have.
The Memphis Grizzlies will reap some of the benefits of the Mike Conley trade with the Utah Jazz in 2022
Nobody wanted to see Mike Conley go, but the trade with the Utah Jazz that sent the Grizzlies’ veteran guard to an annual contender is paying off for both sides. The Jazz are one of the best teams in the league, while the Grizzlies will continue to rebuild.
The Grizzlies’ third first-round pick will come from the Utah Jazz, who sent Memphis a top-6 protected first-rounder a few years back. Similar to the Lakers, it seems nearly impossible that the Jazz end up getting a lottery pick — much less a top-six pick. This is another situation where Utah could have an injury to multiple star players and still finish in the top half of the league.
Barring any sort of disaster, Memphis will get this pick, giving them three first-rounders next season. In all likelihood, the Grizzlies are not stockpiling these picks to take late first-round players. Instead, they’ll probably want to make a trade down the road that brings another star player to Memphis.
Exciting things are on the horizon for Grizz fans.