5 Ways Grizzlies can use 9th pick to address severe weak point

Memphis will have a few options as to how they want to leverage their 9th overall pick in the 2024 draft.
Donovan Clingan
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The Memphis Grizzlies are coming off one of the most injury-riddled seasons in NBA history. They utilized more unique starting lineups than any team in the long history of the association, as well as saw a league record 33 players suit up in a Grizzlies uniform in one season.

It may have felt like a lost season with Memphis missing the playoffs for the first time in four years, but plenty of development was accomplished along the course of this unusual season. With the right next steps, the Grizzlies can turn right back around and be a playoff team next year.

One of the steps the team will take from here is properly utilizing their first-round draft pick. After the NBA Draft Lottery on Sunday, Memphis learned it will be picking ninth overall in next month's draft. They will be able to use that pick to their advantage in a few different ways.

Among the Grizzlies' biggest needs following the trade deadline departure of Steven Adams is a new starting center. Jaren Jackson Jr. has always worked well with a traditional big next to him in the frontcourt, and Memphis will want to find a replacement center. Their ninth-overall draft selection can help them accomplish that task.

Package pick in trade for Nic Claxton

Perhaps the most obvious use of this pick for a team that is in win-now mode would be to explore the trade market for a player that could fill the role in question from another team. Of course, this has already been a frequent topic of discussion among Grizzlies fans.

Adams was such a steady contributor for multiple seasons in Memphis, and replacing him will not be easy. But someone who could be an excellent candidate for his successor is Nic Claxton. An athletic, rim-running big man that can block shots, Clax would be a dream addition for this offseason.

Interestingly enough, Nic already has a connection with the organization. Growing up in South Carolina, Claxton played AAU with Ja Morant while in high school. The two are friends, and that could make the front office pursuing him that much more likely. Brooklyn would want a relatively big return in exchange for him, but having the ninth pick would make constructing such a package easier.