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) /
7 of 8
Memphis Grizzlies, Ziaire Williams.
Memphis Grizzlies, Ziaire Williams. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

Don’t Develop: Ziaire Williams

Williams is entering a make-or-break season with the Grizzlies. The tenth overall pick in 2021 was part of the rotation as a rookie and showed plenty of potential. His production did not leap off the screen, but the 6’8 forward helped them make the playoffs and advance to the second round.

Injuries limited him in year two, and his playing time and production were inconsistent when healthy. During his best 25-game stretch, Williams averaged 6.5 points and 2.7 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game. Watching a young player’s minutes and production decrease is always a bit concerning, and Williams has to prove he belongs next season.

The Grizzlies still have two seasons of team control before he becomes a restricted free agent in 2025. There is no need to complete cut bait, but Memphis should not be looking at Williams as a core piece. He was drafted as a project, but his offensive game is years away from being impactful in the NBA.

The Grizzlies will have an open competition to start at the three in training camp. Dillon Brooks is in Houston, and there is no clear favorite to win the job. Ziaire Williams has the opportunity to seize that role, but if he does not, Memphis should not look at him as a key piece of their future.