Insider suggests Grizzlies could make major shakeup involving lottery pick

Memphis Grizzlies v Atlanta Hawks
Memphis Grizzlies v Atlanta Hawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Though seeing the Memphis Grizzlies wrap up 2023-24 with the seventh-worst record in the entire association was far from a desirable outcome, as they were viewed as a potential title threat coming into the year, one positive takeaway from their lackluster campaign is that they head into June's draft with a lottery pick in tow.

Their first time organically owning such a lofty selection since nabbing franchise cornerstone Ja Morant second overall back in 2019, it is the belief of many that Zach Kleiman will once again try to work his magic and add another highly-touted young difference-maker to strengthen Taylor Jenkins' rotation and, in turn, better their chances of vying for a championship as soon as 2024-25.

However, though they find themselves sporting the seventh-best odds of landing the top selection in the 2024 NBA Draft (7.5%) and are guaranteed a top-10 slot, during a recent piece penned by ESPN's NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks, an argument was broached that it may be in the best interest for the Grizzlies to consider trading their upcoming pick due, in large, to their current financial situation.

Memphis Grizzlies could consider trade upcoming lottery pick

"Adding $8 million in salary for a rookie would also likely send the Grizzlies into the tax. Does it make more sense for the Grizzlies to explore moving out of the lottery for a future first in another season? Or should Memphis look to attach the first to Kennard's $14.7 million salary for a starting center to complement Jaren Jackson Jr.?"

Bobby Marks

As things currently stand, the Grizzlies will be heading into next year's campaign with the league's seventh-highest payroll at $175 million. Considering they're already found residing in the league's first tax apron ($172.3 million), adding on a rookie-scale deal would push them dangerously close to surpassing the second apron ($182.7 million).

Of course, moves could be made to bring down the club's payroll such as parting ways with Luke Kennard's final year under contract (holds a $14.7 million player option next season), which, as a result, could justify Memphis holding onto their pick to select a rookie prospect like UConn center, Donovan Clingan.

As of right now, however, it appears the 2024 draft season will be far from a simple and straight forward ordeal for Kleiman and co.