Grizzlies pass on stud center, add 'interchangeable' forward in latest mock draft

Dec 15, 2023; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins (left) and general
Dec 15, 2023; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins (left) and general / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

When looking at this Memphis Grizzlies team, many believe the position in most need of bolstering this coming summer is their pivot spot.

Following the mid-season trades that sent guys like Steven Adams and Xavier Tillman packing, the club's center depth has become quite barren and possesses no real long-term answer to their starting vacancy.

While there have been a slew of ideas discussed among both pundits and the franchise's faithful followers regarding how the front office could look to address this area of the rotation during the upcoming summer months, one of the most simplistic and cost-efficient ways for them to do so is believed the be by nabbing a young big with their first-round pick in this June's NBA Draft.

From guys like UConn's Donovan Clingan to Purdue's Zach Edey, there are a number of tantalizing center prospects that are slated to be available once the Grizzlies find themselves on the clock.

Of course, with their current projections of landing the seventh overall selection during the festivities, some believe Memphis should simply look to go the route of selecting the best player available on the board at the time of their choosing and, in a recent mock draft, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has the franchise addressing their wing position rather than center by selecting G League Ignite standout, Ron Holland.

Memphis Grizzlies land Ron Holland in latest 2024 NBA Mock Draft

"Ron Holland should also find himself in the best-player-available conversation at No. 7, and the Grizzlies could deem him more interchangeable with 6'6" size, explosive athleticism and defensive quickness.

At worst, he projects as a high-level energizer who'll provide rim pressure and finishing if nothing else improves. But over the course of the G League season, we saw enough signs of ball-handling and tough shotmaking for scouts to feel optimistic about the 18-year-old's ability to develop more offensively in the half court."

Jonathan Wasserman

Through his 2023-24 campaign playing with the polarizing developmental team, Holland showcased his potential of becoming a steady two-way presence thanks to his length, agility, and overall athleticism.

In 15 games played with the Ignite, the former five-star recruit posted impressive all-around 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 the popular belief for this Grizzlies team heading into the draft is that they'll look to try and add on some big bodies to man the middle next to the likes of star Jaren Jackson Jr., Wasserman suggests that they could also use for a jolt of energy at their wing spot, which also seems to align with his cohort Dan Favale's mentality that they should be looking to add a new 'dynamic wing' to their arsenal.

Holland could very well be such a talent for this team and, should he manage to add a consistent jumper to his game, the 18-year-old believes his upside is that of a Jaylen Brown or Mikal Bridges, both of whom would be ideal fits alongside Jackson, Desmond Bane, and Ja Morant.