Grizzlies land No. 1 prospect in latest 2024 NBA Mock Draft

2022 NBA Draft
2022 NBA Draft / Arturo Holmes/GettyImages

Though the Memphis Grizzlies wrapped up 2023-24 with the seventh-worst record in the entire association, they head into this June's NBA Draft with the rights to the ninth overall selection.

Without question, this poor luck has left a foul taste in the mouths of both fans and pundits alike, however, there's still a chance GM Zach Kleiman could end up coming away with a real steal of a talent at the team's current position.

In a recent mock draft crafted by Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman, the Grizzlies were seen selecting G League Ignite standout Ron Holland at No. 9 overall.

While some may be a bit underwhelmed with such a hypothetical happening, as the belief is that this ball club could use for more fine tuning within their big man arsenal rather than out on the wing, what could end up piquing their interest is the fact that Wasserman actually has Holland ranked as the top prospect in this year's class.

Grizzlies snag top-ranked prospect Ron Holland in latest NBA Mock Draft

"The ball-handling flashes are the biggest reason to remain optimistic about his potential trajectory as a scorer. He pulled off some impressive moves changing direction and getting to spots despite not being known for a creator. And as the season moved along, Holland learned how to slow down and change pace more effectively.

Shooting does remain an important swing skill for his potential to reach stardom as a wing. His 24.0 three-point percentage is obviously scary, particularly for a player who won't offer much playmaking on nights when his jumper is off.

But Holland has still shown he can make tough dribble jumpers and catch fire in certain games when his confidence is up."

Jonathan Wasserman

Despite his inconsistent shooting, Holland has a high motor and untapped athleticism that some such as teammate Norris Cole have compared to the likes of a young Jimmy Butler, while Wasserman himself would go on to say in his analysis that "reaching a Jaylen Brown level" of play could be a real possibility for the youngster.

A player who has shown the capability of playing both on and off-ball on the offensive end, the 18-year-old finished off his one-and-done season with the Ignite posting impressive averages of 18.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.1 blocks on 47.4 percent shooting from the floor.

While there's still plenty of work that needs to be done in regard to honing his game (specifically in the long-range shooting and ball-handling departments), with his innate ability to get out on the break, stay with matchups on defense, and, when inside the arc, consistently create for himself on offense, taking a swing on the upside that Holland possesses could prove to be a risk well worth taking for the Grizzlies heading into next season.

Though he may be a bit raw, considering how young he still is coupled with Memphis' recent successes developing the likes of GG Jackson and Vince Williams Jr., there should be plenty of faith in coach Taylor Jenkins and his staff's ability to pull out the best in Holland at the next level.

At ninth overall, the Grizzlies could do a lot worse than landing someone who is being considered by some as the top prospect in his entire class.