3 realistic targets to consider should Grizzlies keep No. 9 NBA Draft pick

2022 NBA Draft
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As has been the case all throughout the 2023-24 campaign, luck was once again not on the side of the Memphis Grizzlies during this past Sunday's NBA Draft Lottery.

Despite finishing out the season with the seventh-worst record at 27-55, following the celebratory bouncing of balls, it has been determined that Zach Kleiman and company officially are owners of the ninth overall selection in next month's draft.

To many fans, this turn of events certainly feels like a spoiled cherry on top of what has been a rotten sundae of a season. The front office also seemingly feels a similar way, so much so that there are now serious rumblings indicating that they may be inclined to offload the pick in some sort of offseason transaction.

Of course, considering many are tabbing this year's class as rather weak, the potential low-level value they might wind up getting in return may force their hand in holding onto the rights and, in turn, nabbing someone at nine on draft day.

Prospects Memphis Grizzlies should be monitoring with No. 9 draft pick

While some have gone as far as to say that picking first overall this year could be like picking seventh or eighth in drafts from the past, and, thus, Memphis' ninth overall standing could be the equivalent of 16 or 17, considering they are expected to be a title-contender with a healthy core of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr. back in tow, this shouldn't be all that big of an issue.

Frankly, all this team may need are a few quality contributors to help fill out the rotation and play their roles to a tee, and, at the latter stage of the lottery, there may be a few noteworthy prospects worth monitoring heading into June.

3. Tyler Smith

Though many may believe the Grizzlies should be looking into finding a new traditional big man to slot into the five, this season Taylor Jenkins experimented with Jaren Jackson Jr. primarily playing the pivot and, in many ways, it proved quite effective.

In fact, things proved to be so productive with him manning the middle that GM Zach Kleiman noted during his exit interviews that the ball club may be "best positioned if Jaren is playing the five," thus suggesting that Memphis could pursue a replacement at the four this summer instead.

Should this prove to be the case, and if they were to keep their ninth overall selection, a propspect like Tyler Smith could be a logical target to pursue.

At 6-foot-11, 224 pounds Smith boasts the build of a modern day tweener big man, while his floor-spacing abilities and sheer athleticism only strengthen his case as a four/ five hybrid at the next level.

During his lone season with the G League Ignite, the 19-year-old showcased an impressive offensive skillset that surprised many, and catapulted him into becoming a potential top-10 prospect heading into this year's draft while sporting averages of 13.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and a block on 47.6 percent shooting from the floor and 36.4 percent shooting from distance.

While there are still some concerns with both his defensive and rebounding game, the former could theoretically be masked by having guys like Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marcus Smart around him while the latter could go on to improve should he bulk up and, thus, gain more strength to box out against opposing bigs in the NBA.

In the event that the Grizzlies wish to keep Jackson at the five, nabbing a talent like Smith to slot in at the four could be a worthwhile move to consider.