5 Young players the Grizzlies should develop, 3 to give up on

Memphis Grizzlies, Ziaire Williams. (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Memphis Grizzlies, Ziaire Williams. (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies, Josh Christopher. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Don’t Develop: Josh Christopher

Christopher was the 24th overall pick in the 2021 draft after one season at Arizona State. The 6’5 guard landed on the rebuilding Rockets, who had plenty of time available to develop him. Christopher averaged 18.0 minutes per game as a rookie and showed some flashes, but his minutes and production dropped off in year two.

The Rockets sent the 21-year-old to Memphis as part of the Dillion Brooks five-team sign-and-trade. Memphis was done with Brooks, but willingly took back Josh Christopher over a second-round draft pick.

The 6’5 guard has been fantastic whenever he played in the G League. Over the last two seasons, he averaged 24.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.0 block in 34.0 minutes per game over eight contests. That is a positive sign, and the Grizzlies need a backup point guard with Ja Morant suspended to start the season, and Marcus Smart replacing Tyus Jones.

The Memphis Grizzlies should not commit to developing Josh Christopher because it will take playing time away from the team’s best players and his poor shooting makes him a difficult fit next to Morant. Expect them to see what they have, especially during Ja’s suspension, but they should look to move on quickly if Christopher has not taken a significant step forward.